Original Article

Evaluation of Memory Functions of Alcohol Dependent Patients

Serdar Nurmedov
2018, 2(1), s:9-14

Long-term alcohol use causes varying degrees of deficit in
various cognitive functions including learning, memory,
visuospatial functions and abstraction. Studies using different
techniques indicate that the neocortex, particularly
the frontal lobe; limbic system and cerebellum are the brain
regions most vulnerable to the toxic effects of alcohol.
The aim of this study is to assess the memory function
in individuals with a history of alcohol dependency who
meet the criteria for at least early partial remission and
to compare it with healthy controls. The study also aims
to investigate the association of memory function with
duration of abstinence.
Twenty-four patients and 24 age, sex and education
matched healthy controls were included in the study.
Patients with Axis-I comorbidity, chronic neurological
disease, dementia, chronic disease, Wernicke
encephalopathy, Korsakoff syndrome and history of head
trauma were excluded. The memory function of alcohol
dependent individuals and healthy controls was assessed
with Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) and Rey Auditory-
Verbal Learning Test (AVLT).
The memory subscales that show significant difference
between the dependent and control groups are immediate
memory span, total scores of learning trials and learning
false score in AVLT and forward digit span, backward digit
span, visual reproduction and memory quotient in WMS.
Statistically significant difference was found in the long
term recall score and long term false recognition score
between the early and sustained full remission subgroups.
As a result of this study, dependent subjects are found to
show more deficit in attention and memory functions
compared to healthy controls. These findings are
consistent with the literature on this subject.