Cognitive dysfunction and aging among male alcoholics and social drinkers

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1987 Aug;11(4):376-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1987.tb01328.x.


The relationship between aging and various drinking styles was examined. Four age groups (25-34, 35-44, 45-54, and 55-65 years) and four drinking styles (nondrinkers, social drinkers, alcoholics, and abstinent alcoholics) were compared. A battery of eight neuropsychological tests was administered to 322 men; 72 nondrinkers, 100 social drinkers, 58 abstinent alcoholics, and 92 alcoholics. Cognitive dysfunction related to aging was found to be a more significant factor than decline with alcohol use. Cognitive dysfunction associated with alcohol use was significant for three Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale subtests; Vocabulary, Digit Symbol and Block Design. Alcohol-related differences in intellectual functioning tended to diminish with increasing subject age.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Behavior*
  • Wechsler Scales