Title

Cognitive Impairment in Chronic Alcoholics: Some Cause for Optimism

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1983

Keywords

research & treatment of cognitive impairment, chronic alcoholics

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

http://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.38.10.1045

Abstract

Even after they cease drinking, many alcoholics show continued impairment of cognitive functioning on both intelligence and neuropsychological tests, with deficits being apparent in visual perception, learning and memory, and the use of problem-solving strategies. Neuropsychological investigations have suggested that these deficits reflect premature aging, a direct dose response relationship, or localized brain damage. However, studies have shown that a considerable recovery of cognitive functioning occurs, most dramatically after drinking cessation and more slowly thereafter. Tasks that require novel, complex, and rapid information processing require longer to recover, and persistent impairments in visual-spatial abilities, abstraction and problem solving, and short-term memory are common, particularly in older alcoholics. Practical applications of this research are discussed in terms of the possibility of reducing cognitive dysfunction and improving treatment outcome in alcoholics.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

No

Citation / Publisher Attribution

American Psychologist, v. 38, issue 10, p. 1045-1054

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