Neuropsychological performance in HIV-1-infected homosexual men: The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS)

Neurology. 1990 Feb;40(2):197-203. doi: 10.1212/wnl.40.2.197.


We administered a battery of standardized neuropsychological measures to assess cognitive functions in a group of 769 HIV-1 seronegative, 727 asymptomatic HIV-1 seropositive (CDC Groups 2 and 3), and 84 symptomatic HIV-1 seropositive (CDC Group 4) homosexual/bisexual men enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). Measures included tests of attention, memory, and psychomotor speed. Comparison of group means revealed significant differences in performance between HIV-1 seronegative and symptomatic HIV-1 seropositive subjects on measures of memory and on measures with strong motor and psychomotor timed components. These findings support the sensitivity of these neuropsychological instruments for detecting cognitive changes that may be related to HIV-1, and are consistent with other reports of neuropsychological abnormalities in symptomatic HIV-1-infected individuals. Asymptomatic seropositive men, on the other hand, did not differ significantly from seronegative subjects on any of the neuropsychological measures. Only 5.5% of the asymptomatic HIV-1 seropositive men showed abnormal performance on individual tests. This proportion did not differ significantly from that of seronegative controls. Further, among asymptomatic seropositive subjects, we found no statistically significant differences as a function of duration of HIV infection or level of immune system functioning. Thus, results from this study support the hypothesis that the frequency of neuropsychological abnormalities in asymptomatic HIV-1-infected homosexual men is low, and not statistically different from that of seronegative controls.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • CD4 Antigens / analysis
  • Cognition
  • Cohort Studies
  • Demography
  • Depression / physiopathology
  • Depression / psychology
  • HIV Infections / physiopathology
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • HIV Seropositivity / psychology*
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Homosexuality / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance


  • CD4 Antigens