Cognitive impairment and cerebral atrophy in 'heavy drinkers'

Maria T. Ratti, Debora Soragna, Luisella Sibilla, Anna Giardini, Andrea Albergati, Faustino Savoldi, Paola Bo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. Aim of the work was to verify the following three hypotheses in alcoholics: a) right hemisphere; b) diffuse brain deficit; c) anterior brain deficit, by means of a neuropsychological and a neuroradiological assessment. 2. 15 alcoholic right-hand male subjects and 15 matched controls were enrolled in the study. 3. Specifically designed neuropsychological testing was performed to investigate logical abilities, selective attention and memory. 4. Neurological investigation was performed by a standard CT scan to assess the degree and localization of brain damage. 5. Alcoholics performed worse than controls on some neuropsychological tests, i.e. Attention Matrices Test, Verbal Judgement Test, Forward Digit Span, Story Recall and Remote Memory Test. The analysis of variance adjusted by the attentional score showed no significant differences between alcohol cs and controls. 6. Neuroradiological data showed a preminnent and a more frequent atrophy of the frontal region. 7. No correlations emerged between neuropsychological and neuroradiological data. 8. In conclusion, the hypothesis of anterior brain deficit seems to be confirmed by our study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-258
Number of pages16
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1999


  • Alcoholism
  • Cerebral atrophy
  • Cognitive functions
  • Frontal lobe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology


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