Neuropathic and neurocongnitive complications of antiretroviral therapy among HIV-infected patients.

  Vol. 34 (Suppl 1) 2013 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2013; 34(Suppl 1): 5-11 PubMed PMID:  24013599    Citation

: The neurologic events related to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in HIV-infected ART-naive patients are relatively common. Side effects of ART and complications of HIV infection may overlap significantly. Establishing etiology of neurologic (neuropathy and neuropathic pain, changes in cognition, dementia, and myelopathy) and psychiatric (neurocognitive disorders, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and dependence, and others) complications can present a significant challenge. It has long been documented that neurologic and psychological side effects can occur with many of the agents used to treat HIV infection. Particularly, efavirenz from the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) has been associated with neurologic and psychological complaints that may be difficult to differentiate from pre-existing mental illness, substance abuse, and HIV-related neuropsychiatric symptoms. Peripheral neuropathy (PN) of at least 6 different types is a well-known adverse effect of treatment with nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) in HIV-infected patients. Lack of dealing with early stages of neurologic and psychological side effects of HIV infection and Highly Active Anti-retroviral Therapy (HAART) are observed in daily practice. The purpose of this article is to identify the neurologic, neuropsychiatric and psychiatric complications related to HIV and anti-retroviral therapy, to discuss current knowledge about these disorders, and to suggest strategies for their diagnosis and management.