Neuropsychological Impairment in Detoxified Alcohol-Dependent Subjects with Preserved Psychosocial Functioning.

Catherine Martelli, Amélie Petillion, Marine Brunet-Lecomte, Rubén Miranda Marcos, Sandra Chanraud, Ammar Amirouche, Alexia Letierce, Nikoleta Kostogianni, Hervé Lemaitre, Henri-Jean Aubin, Lisa Blecha, Michel Reynaud, Jean-Luc Martinot, Amine Benyamina
Front. Psychiatry. 2017-09-29; 8:
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00193

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BACKGROUND: Chronic alcoholism and its related cognitive impairments are
associated with increased social, relational, and professional deficits which
have a variable overall impact on social integration. These impairments are known
to have varying severities and have rarely been studied among healthy
alcohol-dependent subjects with preserved psychosocial functioning. Thus, the
objective of this study is to describe neuropsychological performance in this
particular population.

METHOD: Twenty-nine socially adjusted alcohol-dependent men, hospitalized for a
first or second withdrawal and abstinent for 3 weeks minimum, were compared to 29
healthy non-alcoholic controls. All subjects underwent clinical and psychiatric
examination, neuropsychological tests of memory (M), working memory (WM), and
executive functions (EF). Comparisons were performed using Student’s t-tests or
Mann-Whitney U tests.

RESULTS: No group differences were found on the Self-Reported Social Adjustment
Scale (SAS-SR) or in the Mini-Mental State Examination. Compared to controls,
patients had greater episodic, spatial, and WM deficits as well as slightly
altered executive functions. In contrast, their executive functions (spontaneous
flexibility, criteria generation, rule maintenance, and inhibitory control) were
relatively preserved.

CONCLUSION: Our sample of socially and professionally integrated alcoholic
patients shows fewer cognitive deficits than described in previous studies. Our
results suggest that early on, alcohol-dependent subjects develop compensatory
adaptation processes to preserve social function and adaptation. Minor cognitive
impairments should be screened early in the disease to integrate cognitive
interventions into the health-care plan to thus eventually prevent further
socio-professional marginalization.


Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus