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June 5, 1972

Treatment of Alcoholism With Organic Brain Damage

JAMA. 1972;220(10):1359. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200100071021

To the Editor.—  Some of your readers who have to treat chronic alcoholics with organic brain damage may be interested in the experience I have had with a new form thereof. As a consultant, I see at least two patients weekly with such brain damage—patients often in their 40s and 50s. By the time I see them, they have been given the standard treatment, and disposition has become a problem. They are not well enough oriented to care for themselves at home, and consideration has to be given to longterm hospitalization in a nursing home or state hospital.Previous experience has indicated that dicumarol therapy has been beneficial to many patients with organic brain syndrome and vascular insufficiency of the brain. Since these alcoholic patients exhibited similar symptoms, I suggested a trial of dicumarol therapy for them. The results were unexpectedly good: eight were discharged home and response to treatment