Neurological complications and concomitants of AIDS

Acta Neurol Scand. 1986 Dec;74(6):467-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.1986.tb07872.x.


A survey of the literature of neurological manifestations associated with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) shows a broad disease spectrum affecting approximately one third of the patients in large hospital series. The complications include focal cerebral lesions caused by abscesses, lymphomas, leucoencephalopathy or infarcts as well as encephalitis, meningitis and myelitis. Most opportunistic infections of the central nervous system presumably are caused by toxoplasma gondii, cytomegalovirus and cryptococcus neoformans. One tenth of all patients have neurological disease as their initial symptom of AIDS. The diagnosis should always be considered in patients at risk and in males with an unusual neurological history or with a peculiar CT scan of the brain. Besides the opportunistic complications of AIDS, LAV/HTLV-III itself probably attacks the nervous system and gives rise to concomitant lesions of the long tracts of the spinal cord with ataxia, paresis and spasticity and to subacute encephalopathy and peripheral nerve abnormalities as well.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Brain Neoplasms / etiology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / etiology
  • Cryptococcosis / etiology
  • Encephalitis / etiology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / etiology
  • Humans
  • Leukoencephalopathy, Progressive Multifocal / etiology
  • Meningitis, Aseptic / etiology
  • Mycobacterium Infections / etiology
  • Myelitis / etiology
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / etiology
  • Toxoplasmosis / etiology