The light subunit of neurofilament protein (NFL) is a sensitive indicator of central nervous system axonal injury. We retrospectively identified 9 subjects participating in a longitudinal cohort study who developed acquired immunodeficiency syndrome dementia complex (ADC) and who had had a lumbar puncture performed within 2 years before presentation. Elevated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) NFL concentrations were found in 7 (78%) of the 9 case patients who later developed ADC, compared with 9 (33%) of 27 CD4 cell count-matched HIV-1-infected control subjects. By contrast, no differences were found in CSF HIV-1 RNA or neopterin concentrations between the 2 groups. CSF NFL may prove to be a useful predictive marker for ADC.