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Articles by S Loeber
Total Records ( 3 ) for S Loeber
  S Loeber , T Duka , H Welzel , H Nakovics , A Heinz , H Flor and K. Mann
 

Aims: In the present study, the effect of previous detoxifications on prefrontal function and decision making was examined in alcohol-dependent patients. Further, we examined whether the length of abstinence affects cognitive function. Methods: Forty-eight alcohol-dependent patients were recruited from an inpatient detoxification treatment facility and cognitive function was compared to a control group of 36 healthy controls. The patient population was then divided into a group of patients with less than two previous detoxifications (LO-detox group, n = 27) and a group of patients with two or more previous detoxifications (HI-detox group, n = 21) and cognitive function was compared. In addition, cognitive function of recently (i.e. less than 16 days; median split) and longer abstinent patients was compared. We assessed prefrontal function, memory function and intelligence. Results: Alcoholics, when compared to healthy controls, performed worse with regard to the performance index Attention/Executive function. Cognitive impairment in these tasks was pronounced in recently abstinent patients. We found no significant differences between HI-detox and LO-detox patients with regard to the Attention/Executive function. However, in the IOWA gambling Task, the HI-detox group seemed to be less able to learn to choose cards from the more advantageous decks over time. Conclusions: Our results provide additional evidence for cognitive impairment of alcohol-dependent patients with regard to tasks sensitive to frontal lobe function and underline the importance of abstinence for these impairments to recover. We found only little evidence for the impairing effects of repeated withdrawal on prefrontal function and we suggest that executive function is affected earlier in dependence.

  S Vollstadt Klein , S Loeber , C von der Goltz , K Mann and F. Kiefer
 

Aims: The aim of this study was to analyse initial orienting processes as well as maintenance of attention towards alcohol cues in recently detoxified alcoholics and light social drinkers. Furthermore, we investigated the influence of pre-treatment alcohol consumption and abstinence duration onto alcohol-related attentional bias. Methods: We used an alcohol-visual-dot-probe-task with two different stimulus onset asynchronies (SOA) to examine processes of initial orienting and maintenance of attention separately (50 and 500 ms SOA). Results: With short SOA, we found a positive attentional bias towards alcohol cues in alcohol-dependent patients and light social drinkers that was positively associated with pre-treatment alcohol consumption in alcoholics. Using a longer SOA, a negative attentional bias was found in light social drinkers and in patients abstinent for more than 2 weeks indicating alcohol stimuli avoidance. In patients, we found a negative correlation between attentional bias and duration of abstinence. Conclusions: After initial visual orienting towards alcohol-related stimuli, light social drinkers as well as longer abstinent alcohol-dependent patients disengage their attention. In patients, this disengagement increased during the first 3 weeks after detoxification indicating assimilation to the attentional bias pattern of light social drinkers.

  S Loeber , T Duka , H Welzel Marquez , H Nakovics , A Heinz , K Mann and H. Flor
 

Aims: Several authors suggest that withdrawal from alcohol could cause neurotoxic lesions in the frontal lobe and thereby affect cognitive function. In line with this, previous studies have demonstrated greater cognitive impairment of alcohol-dependent patients with two or more previous detoxifications (Hi-detox) compared with patients with less than two detoxifications (Lo-detox). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether repeated withdrawal from alcohol affects recovery of cognitive function and is related to relapse. Methods: Forty-eight alcohol-dependent patients (Hi-detox: = 31, Lo-detox: = 17) and 36 healthy controls underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological test-battery. Patients were tested after completion of detoxification (T1) and 3 (T2, = 35) and 6 (T3, = 28) months after discharge. Healthy controls were tested at T1 (= 36) and T2 (= 16). Drinking behaviour was assessed at all times. Results: Patients performed significantly worse than controls at T1 as well as T2 with regard to attention/executive function. Recovery of attention/executive function was observed within the second 3 months after discharge, but the Hi-detox group performed worse than the Lo-detox group. No association with relapse was observed. Conclusion: This study provides first evidence, that repeated withdrawal from alcohol might be associated with reduced brain plasticity as indicated by a delay of recovery from impairment of attention/executive function. However, little evidence was found for a direct influence of cognitive impairment on treatment success.

 
 
 
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