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Alcoholic Dementia From Neurological Disorders Due to Alcoholism

Symptoms Characteristic of Alcoholic Dementia

Cognitve Abnormalities:

* Defects are shown in concentration, verbal and visual abstration, visual motor-coordination and the inability to shift from one mental task to another.

* Shows no deficit in tasks that depend on immediate apprehension but is handicapped if the task is changed and a new "mental set" is required, especially while the first task is continued. (i.e. it seems that the patient is excessively dependent upon the immediate sensory imput, and is unable to detach himself from it by imagery or change his orientation toward it.)

* Can only construct the simpliest of concepts. (i.e. incapable of discovering the unfamiliar criteria necessary for categorization.)

* Displays striking defects in memorising mewly presented materials, and the rate of forgetting what has been learned is more rapid.

* This defect involves all forms of learning that demand storage of information.

* Shows a tendency to fabricate.

* The fabrications usually change from one interview to the next, or the same question may provoke fabrications on one occasion by another.

* The patients responses to questions or spontaneous accounts of his or her activities may appear to be pure invention, or if they did occur, are taken out of sequence so that the narrative sounds implausible or fictional.

* The statement is often made that the patient seems to fill the gaps in his memory with fabrications.

Other notes:

A patient with alcoholic dementia may also:

Walk with slow, wide-gaited shuffling and may also appear to be inattentive, indifferent, disoriented, have drowinsess, or appear lethargic in nature, and have decreased spontaneous speech.


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