Change in Neurocognition in People with Co-occurring Alcohol Misuse and Depression: 12-Month Follow-upSally Ann Hunt1*, Amanda Louise Baker2, Patricia T. Michie3 and Frances J. Kay-Lambkin4
4NHMRC Research Fellow, Program Director (Translation), NHMRC CRE in Mental Health and Substance Use, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia and Conjoint Academic, Centre for Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW, Australia
- Corresponding Author:
- Sally Hunt
Centre for Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health
University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan NSW, Australia
Tel: +61 2 40335690
Fax: +61 2 40335692
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: February 02, 2014; Accepted date: April 28, 2014; Published date: April 30, 2014
Citation: Hunt SA, Baker AL, Michie PT, Kay-Lambkin FJ (2014) Change in Neurocognition in People with Co-occurring Alcohol Misuse and Depression: 12-Month Follow-up. J Addict Res Ther S10:004. doi:10.4172/2155-6105.S10-004
Copyright: © 2014 Hunt SA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Objective: Co-occurring alcohol misuse and depression (CAD) are highly prevalent and are both with associated cognitive impairments. Few studies have assessed how cognitive functioning changes over time in association with improvements in alcohol use and/or depression. This is the first study to assess cognitive function and symptoms of depression and alcohol use in a CAD sample at baseline and again at 12-months. We explored whether reduction in alcohol use or improvement in symptoms of depression were associated with changes in cognitive functioning.
Methods: Neuropsychological assessment was administered at baseline and after 12-months in a CAD sample of 71 people who had participated in a psychological intervention in the interim. Changes in alcohol use and depression over 12 months were interpreted as potential factors in improvement in neuropsychological function.
Results: Depressive symptoms and alcohol use improved over 12-months while overall neuropsychological test performance was stable. Improvement in verbal memory, working memory and executive function was predicted by improvement in depressive symptoms measured by the BDI-II, but not by change in alcohol use quantity or frequency of heavy drinking.
Conclusion: Among people with CAD, alleviation of the symptoms of depression may have greater influence on cognitive functioning in areas such as memory and executive function, than a reduction in alcohol use. Further treatment outcome research in CAD samples should include neurocognitive assessments in order to elucidate our understanding of cognitive impairments and potential improvements with intervention.