Neurocognitive impairment associated with alcohol use disorders: implications for treatment

Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2002 Aug;10(3):193-212. doi: 10.1037//1064-1297.10.3.193.


Between 50% and 80% of individuals with alcohol use disorders experience mild to severe neurocognitive impairment. There is a strong clinical rationale that neurocognitive impairment is an important source of individual difference affecting many aspects of addiction treatment, but empirical tests of the direct influence of impairment on treatment outcome have yielded weak and inconsistent results. The authors address the schism between applied-theoretical perspectives and research evidence by suggesting alternative conceptual models of the relationship between neurocognitive impairment and addiction treatment outcome. Methods to promote neurocognitive recovery and ways in which addiction treatments may be modified to improve psychosocial adaptation are suggested. Specific suggestions for future research that may help clarify the complex relations between neurocognitive impairment and addiction treatment are outlined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Neuropathy / pathology
  • Alcoholic Neuropathy / physiopathology
  • Alcoholic Neuropathy / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / pathology
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation
  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cognition Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / physiology
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Neurotransmitter Agents