Cognitive and motor development in children with vertically transmitted HIV infection

Brain Cogn. 2001 Jun-Jul;46(1-2):50-3. doi: 10.1016/s0278-2626(01)80032-4.


This study was designed to examine mental and motor development in infants with vertically transmitted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Early neurodevelopment was examined in 25 young children with HIV infection acquired through vertical transmission. Compared with 25 children born to HIV-positive mothers but not infected with the virus, and after controlling for developmental risk factors, the HIV-infected group showed impairments in mental and motor development. Mental and motor development were assessed using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. On the mental scale (MDI), the HIV-infected infants obtained significantly lower scores than the uninfected infants. On the performace scale (PDI), the HIV-infected infants obtained significantly lower standard scores than the uninfected infants. CT scan results were available for 20 of the HIV-infected children. CT abnormalities were associated with developmental delays, particularly for motor development. The results point to the importance of early abnormalities in myelination and of subcortical lesions of cognitive and motor development.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / complications*
  • HIV Seropositivity / physiopathology
  • HIV Seropositivity / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical*
  • Male
  • Motor Skills Disorders / diagnosis
  • Motor Skills Disorders / etiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed