Thirty one homosexual men with antibody to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) but without major neurological complaints were assessed in a cross sectional study of neurological and neuropsychological function. Eleven patients had AIDS, 10 had persistent generalised lymphadenopathy (PGL), and 10 had HIV infection without PGL (called "well"). Thirteen age matched homosexual men without antibody to HIV acted as controls. Significant abnormalities were found in six on clinical neurological examination, in eight on nerve conduction studies, in six on electroencephalography, in six on neuropsychological assessment, and in eight on computed tomography of the head. Eighteen patients (nine with AIDS, four with PGL, and five "well") performed abnormally in at least one section of the assessment. The study highlights the incidence of nervous system dysfunction in HIV infection even in people who do not have AIDS. Prospective evaluation using electrophysiological and imaging techniques is necessary to assess the natural history of such manifestations and the effect of antiviral treatment.
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