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Information processing deficits in withdrawing alcoholics

Keedwell, Paul A., Kumari, V., Marshall, E. J. and Checkley, S. A. 2001. Information processing deficits in withdrawing alcoholics. Addiction Biology 6 (3) , pp. 239-245. 10.1080/13556210120056571

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Abstract

Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response (a reduction in response to an intense, startling stimulus (the pulse) if preceded by 30-150 ms by a weaker, non-startling stimulus) is an established model to index information processing deficits in thought-disordered schizophrenic patients. The present study aimed to investigate the influence of alcohol withdrawal on the PPI effect. Eight withdrawing alcoholic patients underwent testing for PPI of the acoustic startle response (defined as percentage reduction of the response over pulse-alone stimulus; prepulses 15 dB above the background) on three occasions (1, 3 and 7 days following the last drink). The results demonstrated remarkably low levels of PPI on days 1 and 3, with this being very robust in three patients who had a history of delirium tremens; there was a trend towards normalization of PPI on day 7. This study, although preliminary, suggests strongly that there is a deficit in the filtering of sensory information in alcohol-dependent patients undergoing alcohol withdrawal. This was most apparent in those with a history of delirium tremens. Further studies are needed to define the cause and chronicity of these deficits.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Carfax
ISSN: 1355-6215
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2015 09:53
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/80750

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