Neuropsychiatric complications of AIDS: A literature review

W. M. Detmer, Francis G Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has become a major public health problem with over 12,000 cases and 6,000 deaths reported to date. Although there has been an explosion of knowledge in the virology, immunology and pathology of AIDS, relatively little has been writen on the neuropsychiatric aspects. This report reviews the existing literature on the neuropsychiatric complications of AIDS. As many as 40 percent of patients with AIDS have neurologic complications at some point in their illness. These complications include either focal deficits attributable to opportunistic organisms infecting the CNS or diffuse encephalopathy caused by viral infection or lymphoma infiltration. Psychiatric complications include major depression, adjustment disorder with depressed mood, and organic brain syndrome with affective, delusional or demented features. Inpatient and consulting psychiatrists must be alert to these complications of AIDS so as to make accurate diagnoses and deliver appropriate therapy. Further studies, integrating both psychiatric and neurologic perspectives, are needed to better elucidate the neuropsychiatric complications of AIDS and help plan appropriate therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-29
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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