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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1995 May;91(5):299-304.

Neuropsychological changes during steady-state drug use, withdrawal and abstinence in primary benzodiazepine-dependent patients.

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  • 1Karolinska Institute, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, St. Göran's Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Impairment on neuropsychological tests during steady-state drug use and withdrawal, and after discontinuation of benzodiazepines, was studied in primary benzodiazepine-dependent patients. One group of patients was tested before and the other group after the initiation of a gradual tapering-off of the drug, and both groups were tested approximately 1 year later. At the initial assessment, both groups of patients showed impairment on most of the tests of general intelligence and on several of the tests in the Halstead-Reitan battery, as well as on a test of nonverbal memory, in comparison with healthy controls. At follow-up the patient groups had reached the level of the control group. This study confirmed earlier observations of neuropsychological deficits in long-term benzodiazepine-using patients and demonstrated that these changes are at least partly reversible by discontinuing drug intake.

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