Neurophysiological changes associated with psychiatric symptoms in HIV-infected individuals without AIDS

Torsten Baldeweg, Jose Catalan, Kathryn Pugh, John Gruzelier, Ella Lovett, Hilary Scurlock, Adrian Burgess, Massimo Riccio, David Hawkins

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HIV-1 infection may be complicated by a number of psychopathological conditions. While organic mental disorders, such as HIV-related psychosis and dementia, are late manifestations, mood disorders may occur during both asymptomatic and symptomatic stages of infection. The possible impact of brain involvement due to neurotropism of HIV-1 has not been investigated systematically in these latter conditions. The psychiatric caseness of HIV-seropositive individuals without AIDS and seronegative controls was assessed using a standardized clinical interview (Present State Examination). A comparison was made between individuals with and without psychiatric caseness using clinical, neuropsychological, and neurophysiological assessments. An increased prevalence of current psychiatric illness was found in subjects with early symptomatic HIV infection compared to those with asymptomatic infection and controls. This could not be attributed to psychiatric history, as well as to clinical and immunological markers of HIV infection, however, psychiatric caseness in early symptomatic infection was associated with marked neurophysiological changes, detectable by quantitative electroencephalography. Altogether, this study provided preliminary evidence that psychiatric symptoms in symptomatic but not asymptomatic HIV infection may be associated with subtle brain involvement preceding the immunological and neurocognitive impairment characteristic for AIDS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-487
Number of pages14
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection
  • cohort study
  • quantitative electroencephalography
  • evoked potentials
  • neuropsychology


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