January 1971

Impaired Abstracting Ability in Chronic Alcoholics

Author Affiliations

Oklahoma City
From the Division of Behavioral Sciences, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Oklahoma Medical Center, Oklahoma City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;24(1):71-75. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750070073010

Performance on an abstracting task by matched groups of hospitalized alcoholics (N = 40), brain damaged (N = 40), and control patients (N = 40) was compared. Alcoholics manifested a deficit on the Halstead Category test similar to that of the brain-damaged subjects. The performance deficit of the alcoholics was related positively to the number of years of drinking, independent of age. The pattern of performance differences in the present investigation along with the results from other investigations suggest that chronic alcoholics may have mild brain damage to the perfrontal area or related subcortical structures or both.