Neuropsychological performance in HIV/AIDS intravenous drug users

Journal article


Research Areas

Publication Details

Author list: Vázquez-Justo E
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Titles
Publication year: 2003
Journal: Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology (1380-3395)
Volume number: 25
Issue number: 6
Start page: 852
End page: 865
Number of pages: 14
ISSN: 1380-3395
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


It is known that HIV can directly infect the CNS and, as a result of
such infection, neuropsychological alterations with cognitive,
behavioural and motor manifestations can be developed. In this study we
seek to determine whether seropositivity is associated with a poor
neuropsychological performance in patients with a history of intravenous
drug consumption (n=90). For this purpose we carried out an extensive
neuropsychological evaluation and compared their performance with that
of two seronegative control groups, one comprised of subjects with no
history of drug abuse (n=22), which allowed us to obtain a reference of
normal neuropsychological performance, and the other of seronegative
subjects with a history of drug abuse (n=48), which allowed us to
differentiate whether the performance of the seropositive subjects
derives from their history of drug abuse. The results reveal that HIV
infection in drug users is associated with deficits in attention, verbal
and visual memory, verbal skills, concept formation and reasoning,
visual-constructive skills, manual dexterity, and perceptive-motor
speed, which cannot be attributed to a history of drug abuse. However,
the seronegative drug users also showed some of these alterations, which
suggests that seropositivity is not only associated with a decrease in
performance in these tasks, but also adds to the alterations seen in
seronegative subjects as a consequence of drug abuse.


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Last updated on 2019-10-08 at 00:15