Neurocognitive complaints in HIV-infection and their relationship to depressive symptoms and neuropsychological functioning

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 1999 Dec;21(6):737-56. doi: 10.1076/jcen.21.6.737.863.


We examined the degree to which depressive symptoms, clinical staging of HIV disease, and neuropsychological (NP) functioning were related to neurocognitive complaints in HIV-infection. One hundred adults with HIV-infection (12 asymptomatic, 41 mildly symptomatic, and 47 with AIDS) were administered NP tests of attention and working memory, language, psychomotor speed, verbal memory, and conceptual problem-solving, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Patient's Assessment of Own Functioning Inventory (Chelune, Heaton & Lehman, 1986), a subjective neurocognitive complaint questionnaire where patients rated their problems with memory, language and communication, sensory-motor skills, and higher-level cognitive and intellectual functions. Neurocognitive complaints (regardless of specific type) were correlated significantly with depressive symptoms and with NP measures of attention and working memory, psychomotor skills, and learning efficiency. However, multiple regression analyses revealed that depressive symptoms accounted for the majority of variance explained in neurocognitive complaints with psychomotor efficiency generally predicting the remaining variance. Neurocognitive complaints did not differ according to HIV clinical staging.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications
  • Adult
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders / virology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / virology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Self-Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index