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Subtests of the heidelberg neurological soft sign scale that discriminate HIV patients with and without hand

      I have obtained patient and Institutional Review Board approval, as necessary.
      Background: Since the introduction of the antiretroviral therapy, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) mortality has decreased while the prevalence of milder forms of HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorder (HAND) increased.
      The diagnosis of milder forms of neurocognitive disorders is a clinical challenge, since they present with subtle symptoms in the early stages. Neurological Soft Signs (NSS) are subtle abnormalities in motor and sensory performance, usually present in the early stages of these disorders. We showed in a previous report of preliminary results, that persons living with HIV infection have more prevalence of NSS in comparison to healthy controls, and that in the HIV group, persons with HAND have higher NSS than HIV infected persons without cognitive disorders.
      Objective: The aim of this study is to identify the specific subtests of the Heidelberg NSS Scale which could better discriminate between HAND (+) and HAND (-) and HIV patients in a cohort of Chilean HIV infected persons.
      Materials and methods: 75 HIV patients without history of head injury trauma or opportunistic infections of the CNS were recruited from the HIV clinic, underwent a thorough clinical interview and neuropsychological testing. HAND was diagnosed using NIMH and NINDS criteria. All patients were assessed with the Heidelberger NSS Scale.
      Results: In a preliminary analysis including 45 subjects we found motor coordination subtests to better discriminate HIV infected persons with from those without HAND.