Neuropsychology Review

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 169–185

Neuropsychological Functioning and Antiretroviral Treatment in HIV/AIDS: A Review


DOI: 10.1007/s11065-009-9092-3

Cite this article as:
Cysique, L.A. & Brew, B.J. Neuropsychol Rev (2009) 19: 169. doi:10.1007/s11065-009-9092-3


This article presents a review of studies that have investigated the neuropsychological effects of antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV-1 infection. It provides a brief overview of the era of monotherapy, dual-therapy, and an extended overview of the current era of combination antiretroviral therapy (CART). This review highlights that while CART has had a dramatic effect on the incidence and the severity of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), HAND, in its mild form, still remains prevalent. New causes of this sustained prevalence are poor CNS penetration of some antiretroviral agents, drug resistance, poor adherence, potential neurotoxicity, co-morbidities such as the long-term CART side effects in relation to cardio-vascular disease, and chronic HIV brain infection that may facilitate the expression of new forms of neurodegenerative processes. The review emphasizes the need to address methodological limitations of published studies and the need for large and representative cross-disciplinary longitudinal investigations across the HIV illness span.


Neuropsychological functioningHIV/AIDSHIV-associated neurocognitive disordersAntiretroviral treatmentLongitudinal studies

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brain SciencesUniversity of New South Wales, and Department of NeurologySydneyAustralia