Human immunodeficiency virus and the central nervous system

David C. Spencer, Richard W. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Neurological disease frequently complicates HIV-1 infection. In addition to opportunistic infections, a syndrome of combined cognitive and motor impairment, referred to as the AIDS dementia complex, has been recognized. While presumed to relate to HIV-1 itself, the pathogenesis of this syndrome remains uncertain. Because of the limited extent of productive brain HIV-I infection in many cases, and because such infection involves macrophages and microglia rather than cells of neuroectodermal origin, current speculation centers on indirect mechanisms of brain injury including virus- or cell-coded neurotoxins. We review clinical and laboratory studies and also describe models of the interaction of HIV-1 and immune responses that might account for brain injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-693
Number of pages39
JournalAnnual Review of Microbiology
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • AIDS dementia complex
  • brain retroviruses
  • dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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