The clinical spectrum of neurological manifestations in AIDS patients in Mexico

Arch Med Res. Jul-Aug 2000;31(4):393-8. doi: 10.1016/s0188-4409(00)00067-9.


Background: Neurological complications may be present clinically in up to 39% of patients infected with HIV or AIDS. Some reports have shown different profiles of neurological illness related to geographic variations and the population studied.

Methods: This retrospective study describes the neurological manifestations of patients with AIDS seen between 1990 and 1998 at a single neurological referral hospital in Mexico City.

Results: One hundred forty-nine patients were included, 133 males (89%) and 16 females (10.7%). The average age was 33.8 years (9 to 75 years). Upon admission, only 50 patients (33.6%) were known to be seropositive to HIV-1. In 75 patients (50.3%), the neurological illness was definitory of AIDS and also was its first recognized clinical manifestation. The most common infection problems were brain toxoplasmosis (32.2%), meningeal cryptococcosis (21.5%), tuberculosis (8.7%), and AIDS-dementia complex (8.7%). There were eight (5.4%) cases of ischemic cerebrovascular disease and four (2. 7%) neoplasms. Two primary brain lymphomas and single cases of astrocytoma and oligodendroglioma, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), aseptic meningitis, acute encephalitis, transverse myelitis, myopathy, and cranial neuropathy were also seen.

Conclusion: In comparison with other studies of neurological complications of AIDS, opportunistic infections amenable to treatment in our population were more common. A high case fatality rate was observed, as was a large proportion of patients in whom the neurological illness was the first manifestation of HIV infection or AIDS due to denied, unknown, or unrecognized risk factors for HIV infection.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / classification
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies