HIV associated neurocognitive dysfunction and its association with CD4 count in HIV positive patients-a hospital based study

Neeraj Balaini, Ashima Sharma, Sudhi Sharma, Ashok Sharma


Background: The main objective of the present work was to study the neurocognitive dysfunction in HIV positive patients and to determine its relation with CD4 count. Further, an attempt has also been made to study the relationship of neurocognitive dysfunction with cART regimen.

Methods: The study was a prospective observational study, conducted over a period of one year (from July 2012 to June 2013) in the Department of Medicine in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry at Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Shimla.

Results: HIV associated neurocognitive dysfunction (HAND) was found in 39.04% patients. Mean duration from diagnosis of HIV to detection of HAND was 3.77 ± 1.7 years. Mean nadir CD4 cell count was 126.1/mm3. 39.04% patients (n=41) were found to have HIV associated neurocognitive disorder out of 105 screened patients. 95.1% patients (n=39) had asymptomatic neurocognitive impairement, 4.9% patients (n=2) had mild cognitive impairment and 2.08% patients (n=1) had HIV associated dementia. Out of 41 patients having HIV associated neurocognitive disorder, 68.3% patients (n=28) were having CD4 count less than 150. Those having CD4 count less than 150/mm3 had scored less on dementia scales indicating severe disease. 31.7% patients (n=13) were having HIV associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) and CD4 count was more than 150/mm3.

Conclusions: The conclusion of the study is that HIV associated neurocognitive disorder is common and asymptomatic neurocognitive impairement is the commonest type of HIV associated neurocognitive disorder in HIV positive patients. It can be detected while patient is asymptomatic with help of simple neurocognitive tests. Although few studies reported higher prevalence of HIV associated neurocognitive disorder among patients on certain combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) regimen but our study didn’t indicate any such association.


Antiretroviral therapy, CD4 count, Neurocognitive dysfunction

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