Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Lack of cognitive recovery following withdrawal from long-term benzodiazepine use

  • P. R. Tata (a1), J. Rollings (a1), M. Collins (a1), A. Pickering (a1) and R. R. Jacobson (a1)...
Synopsis
Synopsis

Twenty-one patients with significant long-term therapeutic benzodiazepine (BZ) use, who remained abstinent at 6 months follow-up after successfully completing a standardized inpatient BZ withdrawal regime, and 21 normal controls matched for age and IQ but not for anxiety, were repeatedly tested on a simple battery of routine psychometric tests of cognitive function, pre- and post-withdrawal and at 6 months follow-up. The results demonstrated significant impairment in patients in verbal learning and memory, psychomotor, visuo-motor and visuo-conceptual abilities, compared with controls, at all three time points. Despite practice effects, no evidence of immediate recovery of cognitive function following BZ withdrawal was found. Modest recovery of certain deficits emerged at 6 months follow-up in the BZ group, but this remained significantly below the equivalent control performance. The implications of persisting cognitive deficits after withdrawal from long-term BZ use are discussed.

Copyright
Corresponding author
1Address for correspondence: Philip R. Tata, Department of Psychology, St George's Medical School, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE.
References
Hide All
W. Acker , M. A. Ron , W. A. Lishman & G. K. Shaw (1984). A multivariate analysis of psycological, clinical and CT scanning measures in detoxified chronic alcoholics. British Journal of Addiction 79, 293301.

H. Ashton (1984). Benzodiazepine withdrawal: an unfinished story, British Medical Journal 288, 11351140.

H. Ashton (1987). Benzodiazepine withdrawal: outcome in 50 patients. British Journal of Addiction 82, 665671.

V. Curran (1986). Tranquilising memories: a review of the effects of benzodiazepines on human memory. Biological Psychology 23, 179213.

S. Golombok (1989). Causes, effects and treatment of long-term benzodiazepine use: a review of the psychological perspectives. Human Psychopharmacology 4, 1522.

I. Izquierdo & J. H. Medina (1991). GABA receptor modulation of memory: the role of endogenous benzodiazepines. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences 12, 260265.

N. Joughin , P. Tata , M. Collins , C. Hooper & J. Falkowski (1991). In-patient withdrawal from long-term benzodiazepine use. British Journal of Addiction 86, 449455.

R. G. Lister (1985). The amnestic action of benzodiazepines in man. Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Review 9, 8794.

R. G. Lister & S. E. File (1984). The nature of lorazepam-induced amnesia. Psychopharmacology 83, 183187.

I. Lucki , K. Rickels & A. M. Geller (1986). Chronic use of benzodiazepines and psychomotor and cognitive test performance. Psychopharmacology 88, 426433.

C. MacLeod , A. Mathews & P. Tata (1986). Attentional bias in emotional disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 95, 1520.

K. Mogg , A. Mathews & J. Weinman (1987). Memory bias and clinical anxiety. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 96, 9498.

H. Petursson & M. H. Lader (1981). Withdrawal from long-term benzodiazepine treatment. British Medical Journal, 283, 643645.

H. Petursson , G. Gudjonsson & M. H. Lader (1983). Psychometric performance during withdrawal from long-term benzodiazepine performance. Psychopharmacology 81, 345349.

R. M. Reitan (1958). Validity of the Trail Making Test as an indicator of organic brain damage. Perceptual Motor Skills, 8, 271278.

P. P. Roy-Byrne & S. C. Cowley (1990). The use of benzodiazepines in the workplace. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 22, 461465.

A. Shemer , O. Tykocynski & J. Felton (1984). Long-term effects of chlordiazepoxide (CDP) administration. Psychopharmacology 83, 277280.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 11 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 486 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.