Benzodiazepines (BZDs) are the most widely prescribed drug class in developed countries, but they have high potential for tolerance, dependence and abuse. Cognitive deficits in long-term BZD users have long been known, but previous results might have been biased by patients' old age, coexisting neurological or psychiatric conditions or concurrent alcohol or psychotropic drug dependence. The study was aimed to explore the neuropsychological effect of high-dose BZD dependence, which represents an emerging addiction phenomenon. We recruited a group of high-dose BZD users with neither neurological or psychiatric comorbidity except anxiety or depression nor concurrent alcohol or psychotropic drug dependence. They underwent a battery of cognitive tests to explore verbal, visuospatial memory, working memory, attention, and executive functions. All the neuropsychological measures were significantly worse in patients than controls, and some of them were influenced by the BZD cumulative dose. The severity of depression and anxiety had a minimal influence on cognitive tests. Patients with high-dose BZD intake show profound changes in cognitive function. The impact of cognition should be considered in this population of patients, who may be involved in risky activities or have high work responsibilities.

Multifocal cognitive dysfunction in high-dose benzodiazepine users: a cross-sectional study

FEDERICO, ANGELA;TAMBURIN, Stefano;Maier, Alice;Morbioli, Laura;
2017

Abstract

Benzodiazepines (BZDs) are the most widely prescribed drug class in developed countries, but they have high potential for tolerance, dependence and abuse. Cognitive deficits in long-term BZD users have long been known, but previous results might have been biased by patients' old age, coexisting neurological or psychiatric conditions or concurrent alcohol or psychotropic drug dependence. The study was aimed to explore the neuropsychological effect of high-dose BZD dependence, which represents an emerging addiction phenomenon. We recruited a group of high-dose BZD users with neither neurological or psychiatric comorbidity except anxiety or depression nor concurrent alcohol or psychotropic drug dependence. They underwent a battery of cognitive tests to explore verbal, visuospatial memory, working memory, attention, and executive functions. All the neuropsychological measures were significantly worse in patients than controls, and some of them were influenced by the BZD cumulative dose. The severity of depression and anxiety had a minimal influence on cognitive tests. Patients with high-dose BZD intake show profound changes in cognitive function. The impact of cognition should be considered in this population of patients, who may be involved in risky activities or have high work responsibilities.
attention; benzodiazepine; clinical neuropsychology; drug abuse; executive functions; memory
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/958052
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