Methylphenidate or dextroamphetamine was used to treat 17 of 32 patients with AIDS-related complex who were referred for neuropsychiatric evaluation of symptoms representative of cognitive and/or affective dysfunction. All 17 patients were found to have some degree of cognitive impairment. Psychiatric diagnoses included organic mental disorder (8), adjustment disorder (5), and major depression (4). The 17 patients were receiving no other psychoactive or neurotoxic medications nor were they receiving concomitant investigational antiviral or chemotherapeutic agents. Clinical response to psychostimulant therapy was rated using the Efficacy Index of the Clinical Global Impressions. Pharmacotherapy with either psychostimulant was clinically effective in improving affective parameters in 89.5% (15) of the 17 patients, with 79% (13) of the 17 achieving a moderate to marked response. No adverse side effects were encountered.