Psychomotor slowing in HIV infection: a predictor of dememtia, AIDS and death

N. C. Sacktor, H. Bacellar, D. R. Hoover, T. E. Nance-Sproson, O. A. Selnes, E. N. Miller, G. J. Dal Pan, C. Kleeberger, A. Brown, A. Saah, J. C. McArthur

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109 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine if sustained decline in psychomotor speed tests is associated with an increased risk of progression to dementia, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), or mortality in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1-infected homosexual men in the Baltimore site of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). Clinical and neuropsychological data were obtained on 291 HIV+ homosexual men seen semi-annually over a nine year period (1986-1994). A proportional hazards model was used to assess the predictive value of sustained psychomotor slowing (defined as a 2.0 standard deviation (s.d.) decline in performance on either the Symbol Digit Modalities test or Trailmaking test at two consecutive evaluations). Time-dependent co-variates included in the model were sustained psychomotor slowing, number of attended visits, CD4+ lymphocyte count, hemoglobin and antiretroviral medication use. HrV+ participants with and without sustained psychomotor slowing were compared. Outcome variables were the development of dementia, AIDS and death. HIV+ subjects with sustained psychomotor slowing had an increased hazard of dementia (Risk ratio (RR)=5,0, P=0.008), AIDS (RR=2.4, P=0.02), and death (RR=2.0, P=0.04). A similar analysis using sustained cognitive decline in one domain from a more extensive neuropsychological test battery failed to show any predictive value. Sustained decline in psychomotor performance in HIV infection was predictive of dementia, AIDS and death. This brief neuropsychological test battery may be useful for early detection of HIV+ individuals with a poorer prognosis who may benefit from more aggressive treatment to prevent HIV dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-410
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurovirology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1996


  • Dementia
  • HIV
  • Predictor
  • Psychomotor slowing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Virology


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