In comparison with individuals

In comparison with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, ARD groups generally performed better on semantic tasks (confrontational naming, category fluency, and general knowledge) and on verbal memory recognition measures despite generally equivalent verbal learning and overall delayed recall to Alzheimer’s disease groups [34,44,57]. However, the ARD groups had poorer performance on visuospatial measures, including clock drawing and copying tasks. Deficits on tasks of working memory [44], motor speed [34], and executive function (verbal abstract reasoning [44] and letter fluency [34]) have also been observed in ARD samples in comparison with healthy controls.

While findings are limited by small samples (which in some cases overlapped between studies) as well as differences in group characteristics (that is, global dementia severity), Munro and colleagues [57] proposed that the clinical profile of ARD reflects both cortical and subcortical pathology. This was supported by a recent SPECT (single-photon emission computed tomography) study that reported reduced regional cerebral blood flow in the frontal cortices, basal ganglia, and thalami of patients with ARD [42]. The neuropsychology of WKS has been the subject of more extensive investigation. Patients typically demonstrate profound anterograde amnesia and impaired recall of past events, with a temporally graded deficit in which recall is better for more remote time periods [58]. Implicit memory and procedural memory are comparatively spared.

Other cognitive functions apart from memory may be disturbed, and impaired executive functions, visuoperceptual difficulties, and disturbed working memory have been observed [59]. Executive deficits have been identified in 80% of patients with KS [60]. Difficulties are most frequently detected on tasks assessing higher-order organization, planning, and cognitive flexibility (for example, verbal fluency and divided attention) [60,61]. There is also evidence for variable intellectual Anacetrapib function in WKS [62]. In a review of evidence for variability in WKS, Bowden [4] remarks that empirical evidence suggests that the chronic phase of WKS is more accurately described as ‘dementia-like deterioration’ rather than severe and selective amnesia. Abstinence for as little as a week typically resolves many of the deficits associated with heavy alcohol consumption, and further recovery of cognitive abilities can continue over several years.

The pattern and rate of cognitive recovery are not yet fully understood; however, there is some suggestion that verbal deficits resolve faster than visuospatial difficulties [13]. Executive function, working memory, and perceptual and motor impairments commonly endure following blog post short-term abstinence, which has been proposed to partly reflect compromised frontocortico-cerebellar functional networks [10].

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