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HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders 

HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders
HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders

Scott Letendre

, Jennifer Iudicello

, Beau Ances

, Thomas D. Marcotte

, Serena Spudich

, and Mary Ann Cohen

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date: 14 July 2020

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) enters the central nervous system soon after infection; can infect glia and tissue macrophages in the brain; and can injure neurons, resulting in loss of dendrites. These and other processes underpin a syndrome of cognitive and motor impairment termed HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND). This chapter principally focuses on HAND, although delirium and other neurocognitive disorders are also discussed and should remain in the differential diagnosis of cognitive impairment in persons with HIV. A differential diagnosis of cognitive impairment in HIV also includes multimorbid conditions that can influence neurocognitive performance, such as metabolic syndrome, vascular disease, medication toxicity, and substance use disorders. When developing treatment recommendations for HAND, initiation of ART and treatment of multimorbid conditions and other neurocognitive disorders should be prioritized. It is important for clinicians to regularly monitor HIV patients for HAND and other neurocognitive disorders since cognitive impairment can affect activities of daily living; quality of life; adherence to risk reduction, medical care, and medication; and survival.

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