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December 10, 1982

Neurological complications now characterizing many AIDS victims

JAMA. 1982;248(22):2941-2942. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330220003001

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As more and more cases of the mysterious acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) are being diagnosed (JAMA [MEDICAL NEWS] 1982;248:1423-1431), medical researchers are developing a clearer picture of its clinical course.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, as of Nov 19, 744 AIDS cases had been reported for the United States, with 287 deaths. So far, 54 cases have been reported from foreign countries.

Among the latest findings are neurological complications in large numbers of AIDS patients, many of whom are homosexuals and/or intravenous drug abusers. At UCLA School of Medicine, neurological involvement is seen in three of every four AIDS patients, says Sandra L. Horowitz, MD, now of St Vincent's Hospital, Worcester, Mass. According to her, the complications "tend to arrive late and to be quite devastating" in Southern California victims.

During the recent American Neurological Association (ANA) meetings in Washington, DC, Carolyn Britton, MD, of Columbia University