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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1981 Jan;5(1):26-33.

Neuropsychological effect of chronic alcoholism on tactual-spatial performance and memory in males.


To examine the hypothesis that the functioning of the right hemisphere is disrupted as a result of prolonged alcohol abuse, male middle-aged alcoholic patients and nonalcoholic controls were tested on the standard Tactual Performance Test (TPT) from the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery or on a modified form of the TPT employing stimuli of low verbal codability. On the standard TPT, alcoholic patients were impaired relative to controls on timed performance and memory for TPT figures but not for location. Analysis of the pattern of timed performance indicated the presence of an alcohol-related deficit for the left hand; however, right-hand scores were not impaired in alcoholic patients. For the modified TPT, alcoholic patients were impaired relative to controls for level but not pattern of timed performance; memory for TPT figures was impaired in alcoholic patients although location scores were not. The standard and modified TPT were found to discriminate alcoholic and control subjects with equal accuracy. The results support the hypothesis that chronic alcoholism leads to a disruption in the normal function of the right cerebral hemisphere.

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