XML Feed for RxPG News   Add RxPG News Headlines to My Yahoo!   Javascript Syndication for RxPG News

Research Health World General
 
  Home
 
 Latest Research
 Cancer
 Psychiatry
  Depression
  Neuropsychiatry
  Personality Disorders
  Bulimia
  Anxiety
  Substance Abuse
   Alcohol
   Smoking
   Amphetamine
   Opiates
   Cannabis
   Cocaine
  Suicide
  CFS
  Psychoses
  Child Psychiatry
  Learning-Disabilities
  Psychology
  Forensic Psychiatry
  Mood Disorders
  Sleep Disorders
  Peri-Natal Psychiatry
  Psychotherapy
  Anorexia Nervosa
 Genetics
 Surgery
 Aging
 Ophthalmology
 Gynaecology
 Neurosciences
 Pharmacology
 Cardiology
 Obstetrics
 Infectious Diseases
 Respiratory Medicine
 Pathology
 Endocrinology
 Immunology
 Nephrology
 Gastroenterology
 Biotechnology
 Radiology
 Dermatology
 Microbiology
 Haematology
 Dental
 ENT
 Environment
 Embryology
 Orthopedics
 Metabolism
 Anaethesia
 Paediatrics
 Public Health
 Urology
 Musculoskeletal
 Clinical Trials
 Physiology
 Biochemistry
 Cytology
 Traumatology
 Rheumatology
 
 Medical News
 Health
 Opinion
 Healthcare
 Professionals
 Launch
 Awards & Prizes
 
 Careers
 Medical
 Nursing
 Dental
 
 Special Topics
 Euthanasia
 Ethics
 Evolution
 Odd Medical News
 Feature
 
 World News
 Tsunami
 Epidemics
 Climate
 Business
Search

Last Updated: Aug 19th, 2006 - 22:18:38

Alcohol Channel
subscribe to Alcohol newsletter

Latest Research : Psychiatry : Substance Abuse : Alcohol

   DISCUSS   |   EMAIL   |   PRINT
Alcoholics' deficits in smell are linked to frontal lobe dysfunction
Jul 31, 2006, 17:21, Reviewed by: Dr. Ankush Vidyarthi

"Given that alcohol can cause brain damage and dysfunction in frontal and medial temporal brain regions, and that neuropsychological tasks such as executive function and memory may represent sensitive measures of the integrity of these brain areas, we were interested in whether olfactory deficits in alcohol dependence are related to executive dysfunctions or memory impairments"

 
Prior research has shown that chronic alcoholism is associated with numerous olfactory deficits in odor judgment, odor identification, odor sensitivity, and the ability to qualitatively discriminate between odors. New findings indicate that olfactory deficits among alcoholics are associated with prefrontal cognitive dysfunction, specifically, impairment in the functional integrity of the prefrontal lobe.

"Both frontal and medial temporal lobe brain regions play a major role in olfactory functioning, particularly in the abilities of odor quality discrimination and identification," said Claudia I. Rupp, clinical neuropsychologist and assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Innsbruck Medical University, and corresponding author for the study.

"Given that alcohol can cause brain damage and dysfunction in frontal and medial temporal brain regions, and that neuropsychological tasks such as executive function and memory may represent sensitive measures of the integrity of these brain areas, we were interested in whether olfactory deficits in alcohol dependence are related to executive dysfunctions or memory impairments," she said.

Rupp and her colleagues examined 32 alcoholics (18 males, 14 females) and 30 healthy "controls" (16 males, 14 females) that were matched on age, gender and smoking status. All participants were assessed in three areas: olfactory function (detection threshold, quality discrimination, identification), executive function (using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test), and memory (using the German version of the California Verbal Learning Test).

"We found that the alcoholics, when compared to the controls, were impaired in all three domains investigated: olfactory functions, executive function, and memory," said Rupp. "We also found that impairments in all three domains appear resistant to early recovery after alcohol drinking stopped. Furthermore, olfactory discrimination deficits appear to be associated with executive function impairment. Collectively speaking, our results suggest that olfactory discrimination deficits and executive function impairment may share a common neural substrate that is, a pathological process may be mediating both deficits most likely dysfunctional mechanisms involving the frontal lobe."

Rupp said that her findings help support the hypothesis that frontal lobes are particularly vulnerable to alcoholism-related damage, and that dysfunction in this region may play a significant role in alcoholism and other drug addictions. "Our findings add to the mounting evidence for frontal lobe dysfunction in alcoholism, which may be involved in the development of addiction, may mediate recovery in persons with alcohol-use disorders, and may play a key role in understanding the neurobiology of alcoholism," she said.

Rupp added that her study's findings raise some serious clinical concerns. "Olfactory dysfunction can seriously impair people in their day-to-day activities and occupation, increase their risk of injury or even death, and reduce their overall quality of life," she said. "These deficits may not only reduce patients' enjoyment of foods, but may also place them at risk for long term nutritional or health sequelae. Individuals may alter food choices and intake, resulting in weight loss, challenged immunity and impaired nutritional status all of which are commonly observed in patients with chronic alcoholism. Nutritional deficiencies, moreover, also have notorious deleterious effects on brain structure and cognitive functioning. Future research needs to investigate the functional impact of olfactory dysfunction in alcohol dependence."
 

- Results are published in the August issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
 

www.alcoholism-cer.com

 
Subscribe to Alcohol Newsletter
E-mail Address:

 

Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research (ACER) is the official journal of the Research Society on Alcoholism and the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism. Co-authors of the ACER paper, "Executive Function and Memory in Relation to Olfactory Deficits in Alcohol-Dependent Patients," were: W. Wolfgang Fleischhacker, Armand Hausmann, Hartmann Hinterhuber, and Martin Kurz of the Department of Psychiatry at Innsbruck Medical University; and Arthur Drexler of the Institute of Communication and Psychotherapy at the University of Innsbruck.


Related Alcohol News

DNA highly-promising predictor for successful treatment of alcoholics
Nicotine may actually reduce blood alcohol concentrations
Alcoholics' deficits in smell are linked to frontal lobe dysfunction
Asp carriers of the OPRM1 gene taking naltrexone have increased urge to drink
Early Drinking Linked to Risk of Alcohol Dependence
Inattentional blindness more likely under influence of alcohol
Moderate alcohol intake associated with better mental function
Medical management with naltrexone or behavioral therapy can effectively treat alcohol dependence
Underage drinkers account for about 17 percent of consumer expenditures for alcohol
Alcohol could make you more depressed: study


For any corrections of factual information, to contact the editors or to send any medical news or health news press releases, use feedback form

Top of Page

 

© Copyright 2004 onwards by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited
Contact Us