Summary: Brain atrophy and intellectual impairment in heavy drinkers–A clinical, psychometric and computerized tomography study. The frequency of cerebral and cerebellar atrophy was assessed by computerized tomography (CT) in 26 heavy drinkers. Findings were correlated with clinical deficits, with the results of psychometric testing using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), and with the alcoholic history and nutritional status. Cerebral atrophy was present in 19 cases (73%), 16 of whom also had cerebellar atrophy. There was a good correlation between the degree of cerebral hemisphere atrophy and age and length of drinking history, but a poor correlation between neurological deficits and atrophy. Impairment of visuo‐spatial and visuo‐motor functions with sparing of other non‐dominant hemisphere functions and of verbal skills was the characteristic pattern found with the WAIS in 18 subjects; four showed a more global depression of intellectual function. The degree of cerebral hemisphere atrophy correlated significantly with the impairment of non‐dominant hemisphere functions but not with total IQ.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Australian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 1978|