Developmental abnormalities in infants and children with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related complex

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1985 Oct;27(5):563-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1985.tb14127.x.


Children with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) display two types of clinical picture: a full-blown AIDS characterized by the presence of opportunistic infections and/or Kaposi's sarcoma and a prodromal stage now identified as AIDS-related complex (ARC). Neurological complications have been identified in infants and children with the disease. This paper discusses the developmental abnormalities in 16 pediatric patients, seven with AIDS and nine with ARC, ranging in age from six months to six years. In all cases, the mothers of these children either had ARC, AIDS and/or used intravenous drugs. Developmental histories showed delayed acquisition of milestones in most children following the diagnosis of AIDS or ARC, with delayed motor milestones consistently noted in both groups. Several children with AIDS actually lost milestones as their illness progressed; this has not occurred in the ARC group. Psychometric testing revealed more severe cognitive dysfunction in the group with AIDS. Involvement of the central nervous system was documented clinically, radiologically, and/or electrophysiologically in all patients with AIDS. In the ARC group the course of the illness has shown greater variability. Medical and social factors that may contribute to the developmental abnormalities are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Brain Diseases / complications
  • Brain Stem / physiopathology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / complications*
  • Developmental Disabilities / physiopathology
  • Developmental Disabilities / psychology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Language
  • Motor Skills
  • Nervous System Diseases / complications
  • Psychometrics