Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2012; 16 (8): 1052-1060

Disorder verbal memory in alcoholics after delirium tremens

A. Dickov, N. Vuckovic, S. Martinovic-Mitrovic, I. Savkovic, D. Dragin, V. Dickov, D. Mitrovic, D. Budisa

Clinical of Psychiatry, Clinical Center Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia. dickovlela@gmail.com


AIM: Alcohol delirium tremens suggests dysfunction of numerous brain regions. Several Authors suggest that alcohol and withdrawal from alcohol could cause neurotoxic lesions in the frontal lobe and thereby affect cognitive function. However, it is not that well known whether the consequences of the damage following delirium are only quantitative or qualitative.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty alcohol-dependent patients after alcohol delirium (ADT-n1 = 30), and 30 alcohol-dependent patients without alcohol delirium (ALC-n2=30) were compared with neuropsychological test-battery. [(Wechsler Bellevue Intelligence Scale – WB form I, Wechsler memory scale and Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT)]. Examinees were selected as equivalent pairs, in such a manner that they were of approximately same age, i.e. age difference was 0-5 years, they were of the same education level, and difference in the duration of drinking was not more than 3 years.

RESULTS: In the group of ADT patients, IQ was 97.53, while it is 109.53 for ALC patients. Mental deterioration of the examined group is 40, and in the control group 13. Group of ADT patients had significantly lower achievements on subtests: arithmetic, block design and digit symbol. ADT patients’ average memory quotient (MQ) is 81.8, which is three standard deviations lower compared to ALC patients (MQ 102.2) and standard values, according to Wechsler. In the first repetition of the series of 15 words RAVLT, is no difference (t-test=1.88; p > 0.05), while the difference in other repetitions is significant. Difference is also statistically significant regarding recollection after 30 minutes (t-test=3.66; p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: There is qualitative difference in cognitive deficiencies in alcoholics with delirium tremens and those with no alcohol delirium, while the predominant pathology of the cognitive-amnestic deficiency is in compliance with the dysfunction of the prefrontal lobe. Following alcohol delirium, verbal memory disorders occur within the intellectual decrease and attention disorder in general.

To cite this article

A. Dickov, N. Vuckovic, S. Martinovic-Mitrovic, I. Savkovic, D. Dragin, V. Dickov, D. Mitrovic, D. Budisa
Disorder verbal memory in alcoholics after delirium tremens

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2012
Vol. 16 - N. 8
Pages: 1052-1060