Neurocognitive function in alcoholic, schizophrenic, and dually diagnosed patients

Psychiatry Res. 1996 Aug 30;64(1):35-45. doi: 10.1016/0165-1781(96)02911-3.


Neurocognitive functions were compared in alcoholic, schizophrenic, and dually diagnosed (schizophrenic and alcoholic) patients and community control volunteers. Participants (N = 52, n = 13 in each group) completed a brief battery including two measures of neuropsychological function and two affective measures. The neuropsychological tests included the Trail-Making Test Forms A and B and a face-recognition test. The affective measures included assessment of anxiety and depression. The major objective was to compare the patterns of neurocognitive performance among the four groups. The groups did not differ in mean age (35.37) or years of education (12.46). Compared with the community control and alcoholic groups, the schizophrenic groups reported higher mean depression (12.92 vs. 5.54) and mean state anxiety scores (60.73 vs. 46.04). Control subjects were generally, although not always significantly, superior to the other groups. Contrary to expectations, alcoholic patients were not consistently better than the schizophrenic groups, and dually diagnosed participants were not more impaired than schizophrenic patients without substance abuse histories. Thus, the interaction of schizophrenia and substance abuse did not have an additive effect on neurocognitive performance assessed in this study. More research using this complete four-group design and a larger neurocognitive battery is needed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis*
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Dual (Psychiatry)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reference Values
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*