Apathy, depression, and cognitive performance in HIV-1 infection

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1998 Summer;10(3):320-9. doi: 10.1176/jnp.10.3.320.


The authors examined the relationship between apathy, depression, and cognitive performance in 48 HIV-1-seropositive and 21 seronegative (control) subjects, using reaction time (RT) and working memory tasks. Apathy, but not depression, was associated with working memory deficits among HIV-seropositive subjects. The cognitive-affective component of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), but not apathy, was associated with slowing and decreased accuracy on a choice RT task. The BDI cognitive-affective component was more closely associated than the BDI somatic component with both RT slowing and apathy. Results suggest that prominent symptoms of apathy, independent of depression, may be an important indicator of CNS involvement in HIV infection. Total BDI scores showed a less consistent relationship with neurocognitive performance, suggesting that somatic symptomatology is diagnostically ambiguous among HIV-infected subjects.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex / diagnosis*
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / psychology
  • Adult
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • HIV Seropositivity / diagnosis
  • HIV Seropositivity / psychology
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Reaction Time