Patients with alcoholism display impaired cognitive information processing. In this study, we use clinically useful and effective neurocognitive tests to investigate these impairments. Twenty patients with the DSM-IV diagnosis of alcohol dependency and 20 age-, gender-, education-, and IQ-matched healthy control subjects participated in the study. The patients were abstinent for more than 6 months. For the assessment of the neurocognitive impairments, listening span and backward digit span (working memory), Trail Making A, Trail Making B, semantic fluency (executive functions), digit span, world list task (short-term verbal memory) and the Digit Symbol Substitution Task (attention) were used. As a complex background test battery, we also used the Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test. Patients with alcoholism, even after a long period of abstinence, showed significant impairments in some cognitive domains, including executive functions and speed of processing. Inverse correlation was observed between the duration of the abstinent period and the deficit in the Trail Making task and the semantic fluency task. On the other hand, the episodic memory and the delayed memory functions were intact. These results show that in some cognitive domains (executive functions and semantic fluency), the performance is related to the duration of the abstinent period, which may suggest the recovery of these functions. Some other domains do not show such an improvement, which could be due to a primary deficit or to a slower recovery process.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Clinical Neurology