The Italian Journal of Neurological Sciences

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 465–468 | Cite as

The neuropsychological consequences of HIV infection in drug addicts

  • Cappa S. F. 
  • Truong T. M. 
  • Vangi D. 
  • Vignolo L. A. 
Original Articles


The occurrence of neuropsychological impairment in asymptomatic, HIV-positive individuals is controversial. In the present study we compared the performance of three groups of chronic intravenous drug abusers (HIV negative, asymptomatic HIV positive, AIDS) on a battery of neuropsychological tests. While the AIDS group was significantly impaired, no difference was found between HIV negative and HIV positive asymptomatic subjects on any measure. This finding is in agreement with the results of studies of homosexual and bisexual subjects, indicating that the presence of HIV infection in the asymptomatic stage does not carry an added risk of cognitive impairment in drug addicts.

Key Words

Neuropsychology AIDS drug addiction dementia HIV 


La presenza di compromissione neuropsicologica in soggetti HIV-positivi asintomatici è oggetto di discussione. In questo studio sono state confrontate le prestazioni ad una batteria di test neuropsicologici di tre gruppi di tossicodipendenti cronici da eroina: HIV-negativi, HIV-positivi asintomatici ed affetti da AIDS. Mentre il gruppo AIDS aveva prestazioni significativamente inferiori, non è stata dimostrata alcuna differenza significativa tra i soggetti HIV-negativi ed HIV-positivi asintomatici. Tale risultato è in accordo con la maggior parte degli studi eseguiti su popolazioni di soggetti omosessuali e bisessuali, ove l'infezione da HIV nello stadio asintomatico non si associava a deficit neuropsicologici.


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Copyright information

© Masson Italia Periodici S.r.l. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cappa S. F. 
    • 1
  • Truong T. M. 
    • 1
  • Vangi D. 
    • 1
  • Vignolo L. A. 
    • 1
  1. 1.II Neurologia Spedali CiviliClinica Neurologica dell'Università di BresciaBrescia

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