Spectrum of motor neuron diseases with HIV-1 infection

Ashok Verma, Shri Kant Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The cause of sporadic motor neuron disease (MND) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is unknown. During the last 20 years, at least 23 cases of MND have been reported in HIV-1 (HIV) seropositive individuals. Objective: To describe two patients with HIV infection and MND and to review the literature regarding HIV-associated MND. Setting: A multidisciplinary ALS center and Neuro-AIDS clinic at tertiary care university hospitals. Patients/Design: We prospectively studied two HIV-infected patients with motor neuron disease. A detailed review of the literature employing the PubMed search strategy revealed 23 additional cases of MND in HIV-infected persons. These were reviewed for comparison and contrast with the characteristics of sporadic classical MND. Results: The clinical features of MND in our two cases, mirrored that of the sporadic MND (upper and lower motor neuron disorder) and primary lateral sclerosis (PLS, isolated upper motor neuron disorder). The review of 23 previously reported patients with MND and HIV infection revealed that they could be categorized into clinically definite MND (6 cases) or clinically probable or possible MND (17 cases). MND commenced at different stages of the HIV; in 9 patients HIV infection was discovered contemporaneously with the diagnosis of MND. As in our one patient, 14 of 18 patients with HIV-associated MND syndrome receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), demonstrated at least partial recovery of their motor deficit. Conclusions: A clinical picture similar to MND or PLS may occur in association with HIV infection. An aggressive HAART regimen to reduce viral load should be pursued in all such cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Indian Academy of Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


  • Dysarthria
  • Highly active antiretroviral therapy
  • Human immunodeficiency virus type 1
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Primary lateral sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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