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Abnormalities of visual spatial attention in HIV infection and the HIV- associated dementia complex
The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 1995;7:325-333.
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Covert orienting of visuospatial attention (COVAT) was examined in 88 homosexual or bisexual men: 12 with mild HIV-associated dementia complex (ADC), 30 neurologically intact with AIDS (NI-AIDS), 23 asymptomatic HIV+ (HIV+ASX), and 23 HIV-negative control subjects. In mild ADC, COVAT was normal for spatial but impaired for nonspatial cues; 17% of NI-AIDS and HIV+ASX subjects had similar COVAT impairment patterns and also showed cognitive deficits. HIV+ subjects with normal COVAT showed normal cognitive performance. Impairment of nonspatial attentional processing in the ADC subjects and subgroups of the neurologically intact HIV+ subjects may reflect early subcortical dysfunction caused by HIV infection. COVAT assessment may be sensitive for detection of early subclinical neurological impairment in HIV infection.

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