Cognitive Dysfunctions in Patients with Alcohol Dependence Syndrome in a Tertiary Hospital in Kathmandu
Introduction: Alcohol dependence is a chronic disorder, accompanied by neuropsychological deficits. Patients with alcohol dependence were evaluated to identify the cognitive dysfunctions.
Method: The study followed descriptive design and recruited participants (N=62) from inpatient services of the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health by convenient sampling. Participants were evaluated with the Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire, Frontal Assessment Battery and PGI Memory Scale for the severity of alcohol dependence, executive impairments and memory dysfunctions respectively once they had completed alcohol detoxification.
Results: Total duration of alcohol consumption was 13.93±8.74 years, period of dependence was 2.97±2.23 years and 56.5% had moderate level of dependence. 33.9% of the participants had executive impairments particularly in conceptualization, programming and mental flexibility. 38% of variance in executive dysfunction was explained by illness variables, where period of alcohol dependence and education were significant predictors. 54.8% had significant memory dysfunction particularly in visual retention, remote memory, verbal retention of dissimilar pairs and delayed recall. Memory dysfunction differed significantly among the age groups (F=10.22, p<0.01) and age was a significant predictor (β=.542, p<0.001). 19% variance in memory dysfunction was explained by illness variables, where duration of alcohol consumption was a significant predictor (β = .485, p<0.01).
Conclusion: Findings indicate that cognitive dysfunctions are prevalent among patients with alcohol dependence. Hence, routine neuropsychological assessment is of particular importance for early detection and remediation of underlying deficits, which completes the treatment of alcohol dependence.
Keywords: alcohol dependence: cognitive dysfunctions; executive functions; memory. | PubMed
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