Heavy Alcohol Use and History of Alcohol Dependence Lead to Cognitive Problems Later in Life
The Carlat Addiction Treatment Report, Volume 4, Number 8, November 2016
Topics: Research Update
Bret A. Moore, PsyD, ABPP
Board-Certified Clinical Psychologist, San Antonio, TX
Dr. Moore has disclosed that he has no relevant financial or other interests in any commercial companies pertaining to this educational activity.
There are a few truths when it comes to cognitive functioning and acute alcohol use. We know that alcohol intoxication can lead to imbalance, disorientation, and loss of consciousness. We also know the ability to hang on to small amounts of information for a few seconds is impaired. However, what’s less clear is the long-term impact on cognitive abilities in heavy drinkers as they age. It may seem like a “no-brainer” that cognitive abilities would be worse in heavy drinkers as they get older, but research on the topic has been conflicting.