Slowed reaction time in HIV-1-seropositive intravenous drug users without AIDS

Eur Neurol. 2000;44(2):72-8. doi: 10.1159/000008200.


One hundred and fourteen subjects with a history of intravenous drug abuse (65 subjects infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, and 49 seronegative controls) were evaluated with a reaction time (RT) test which included one measure of simple RT and three measures of complex RT. All seropositive patients were in HIV stages A or B. The multivariate analysis of covariance controlled for age, educational level and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale score, showed differences between seropositive subjects and controls: the seropositive group scored slower than the control group on two RT tasks, simple RT and a more complex RT measure. Our results suggest that computerized RT measures may be more sensitive than conventional neuropsychological tests in detecting subtle cognitive and motor retardation in the early stages of HIV infection, thus extending the findings of other studies to the intravenous drug-user population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex / blood*
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / physiopathology
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / psychology*
  • Adult
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / blood
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / complications*