Self-rated prospective memory and central executive deficits in excessive alcohol users

Tom Heffernan, Jonathan Ling, Janice Bartholomew

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study assessed self-reported prospective memory and related central executive processes in a group of excessive alcohol users and non-users. The aim was to assess whether excessive alcohol use is associated with impairments in these two sets of memory processes. Methods: Eighty participants from the North-East of England were tested. Of these, 40 were excessive alcohol users (using above the recommended weekly 'safe' dose of alcohol) and 40 were low-dose/non-users. Each participant was assessed using self-reports of prospective memory (PM) - measured using the Prospective Memory Questionnaire (PMQ) and central executive (CE) processes - measured using the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX). Other drug use, age and strategy use were incorporated into the study as controls. Results: After controlling for other drug use, age, and strategy use, excessive alcohol users reported global impairments in everyday prospective memory and in their central executive processes, when compared to a low-dose/no-alcohol control group. Conclusions: These findings suggest that excessive alcohol use has a detrimental impact upon everyday memory - a relatively unexplored area of research. PM and CE deficits should be added to the growing list of neuropsychological sequelae associated with chronic excessive alcohol use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-124
JournalIrish Journal of Psychological Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


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