Neuropsychological manifestations of HIV-1 infection in intravenous drug users

Paul J Rinaldi, Fordham University


Earlier research which focused mainly on homosexual males showed that neuropsychological functioning clearly declines with the onset of full-blown AIDS. However, the functional nature of the decline is less clear. Subjects in the study were 60 male veterans with histories of intravenous drug use who were assigned to one of three groups; 24 HIV-, 20 HIV+, and 16 AIDS. To help address this issue, a principal components analysis was performed on a battery of neuropsychological tests comprised of the Benton Visual Retention Test, Finger Tapping Test, Grooved Pegboard, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Timed Gait, Trailmaking A, Trailmaking B, Wechsler Digit Symbol. A three factor solution accounted for 62% of the variance in the sample. The three factors include (1) Integration and processing; (2) Speed of motor functioning, and (3) Memory. The only of these factors to discriminate between the three groups was the memory factor on which the performance of subjects with AIDS was significantly impaired when compared to the performance of subjects who were HIV-. Implications of these findings in describing a functional model of cognitive deficit in intravenous drug users are discussed.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Physiological psychology|Psychobiology

Recommended Citation

Rinaldi, Paul J, "Neuropsychological manifestations of HIV-1 infection in intravenous drug users" (1995). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9530037.