Improvement in memory and static balance with abstinence in alcoholic men and women: selective relations with change in brain structure

Psychiatry Research
Margaret J RosenbloomEdith V Sullivan

Abstract

We investigated whether changes in memory or static balance in chronic alcoholics, occurring with abstinence or relapse, are associated with changes in lateral and fourth ventricular volume. Alcoholics meeting DSM-IV criteria for Alcohol Dependence (n=15) and non-alcoholic controls (n=26) were examined twice at a mean interval of 2 years with standard Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI), Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) tests, an ataxia battery, and structural MRI. At study entry, alcoholics had been abstinent on average for over 4 months and achieved lower scores than controls on WASI General IQ Index, WMS-R General Memory Index, and the ataxia battery. The 10 alcoholics who maintained sobriety at retest did not differ at study entry in socio-demographic measures, alcohol use, or WASI and WMS-R summary scores from the five relapsers. At follow-up, abstainers improved more than controls on the WMS-R General Memory Index. Ataxia tended to improve in abstainers relative to controls. Associations were observed between memory and lateral ventricular volume change and between ataxia and fourth ventricular volume change in alcoholics but not in the controls. Both memory and ataxia can improve with sustained sobriet...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol Abuse
Tremor, Rubral
Brain
Structure of Interventricular Foramen
Postural Balance
Mental Tests
Magnetization Transfer Contrast Imaging
Memory
Memory Loss

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