Cognitive impairments in alcohol-dependent subjects

Front Psychiatry. 2014 Jul 16:5:78. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00078. eCollection 2014.


Chronic excessive alcohol consumption induces cognitive impairments mainly affecting executive functions, episodic memory, and visuospatial capacities related to multiple brain lesions. These cognitive impairments not only determine everyday management of these patients, but also impact on the efficacy of management and may compromise the abstinence prognosis. Maintenance of lasting abstinence is associated with cognitive recovery in these patients, but some impairments may persist and interfere with the good conduct and the efficacy of management. It therefore appears essential to clearly define neuropsychological management designed to identify and evaluate the type and severity of alcohol-related cognitive impairments. It is also essential to develop cognitive remediation therapy so that the patient can fully benefit from the management proposed in addiction medicine units.

Keywords: alcohol-dependence; brain atrophy; cognitive impairments; cognitive remediation therapy; implicit cognition; inhibition; working memory.

Publication types

  • Review