Neethi Valsan1, Shijin Ammanam Veetil2, Saibunisa Beevi3
The use of alcohol is increasingly prevalent in our country. Being a neurotoxin, it tends to affect elective mental capacities. Frontal lobe is found to be most affected by chronic alcohol use.
To study the executive functions in alcohol dependent individuals and to determine any relationship with alcohol intake variables.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
30 recently detoxified alcohol dependent individuals attending the De-addiction Clinic of Medical College, Kottayam, was compared to 30 controls on four tests of executive functions, namely, Controlled Word Association Test, Trail Making Test, Stroop Test, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.
Statistical analysis of the data has been done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS Windows version 10).
Executive function was significantly impaired in the alcohol dependent individuals when compared to normal controls in all the four tests. On analysing the effect of drinking variables on executive functioning, the performance of patients is seen to improve with abstinence in Stroop. Those with a positive family history of ADS in the first degree relatives produced fewer words in verbal fluency.
As the executive impairment remains more or less stable irrespective to the chronicity or amount of alcohol use, it could be assumed that the executive dysfunction observed is a trait marker rather than a state dependent variable.