Dementia and neurocognitive disorders due to HIV-1 infection

Semin Neurol. 2007 Feb;27(1):86-92. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-956759.


Human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-l) infection is the most common preventable and treatable cause of neurocognitive impairment in individuals under age 50 years. Although the incidence of HIV-associated dementia has decreased over the past few years due to combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), the prevalence of less severe HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment continues to increase. HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment is a significant burden to persons living with HIV infection, caregivers, and the health care system. Neurocognitive changes associated with HIV are typically subcortical, consisting of the triad of cognitive, behavior, and motor dysfunction. HIV-associated dementia and HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment are clinical diagnostic syndromes with neuropsychological performance testing, neuroimaging, and cerebral spinal fluid studies providing additional information. With the advent of more effective cART, the incidence of fatal opportunistic complications has dramatically diminished. Accordingly, the present review focuses on primary HIV-induced disease of the central nervous system, rather than its opportunistic complications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex / diagnosis
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / drug therapy
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / physiopathology*
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain / virology
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / virology
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • HIV-1 / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents