, Volume 109, Issue 5-6, pp 767-775

Parkinsonism in HIV dementia

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A great number of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients develop a central nervous system disorder, commonly called HIV dementia or AIDS dementia complex (ADC). HIV dementia is independent of opportunistic infections and is due to the virus itself. Symptoms include psychomotor slowing, apathy and motor disorders similar tothe bradykinesia and postural and gait abnormalities observed in late Parkinson's disease. Consequently, HIV has been discussed during the last few years as an additional cause for parkinsonism, and parkinsonian syndromes as manifestations of HIV dementia. Moreover, the early phase of HIV infection gains increasing interest because of studies which report subtle neurological symptoms at this stage. Accordingly, we found in SIV-infected monkeys that dopamine is reduced by 44% within as few as two months of infection, indicating that changes during early infection must be thoroughly evaluated. In this short review, we discuss alterations in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system during early and late immunodeficiency virus infection and the common clinical and biochemical features shared by HIV dementia and Parkinson's disease.

Received January 15, 2002; accepted January 24, 2002