Deficit Decision-making Linked to DUI

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Sept. 10 (UPI) — Turkish and British researchers say those who relapse and drive under the influence have subtle deficits in decision-making abilities that may to go undetected.

Muzaffer Kasar, resident in psychiatry at the Bakirkoy Research and Training Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey, and David J. Nutt, a professor of psychiatry at Imperial College, London, say decision-making cognition had not been investigated in DUI recidivists before this study.

The researchers assessed 34 male, second-time DUI offenders who had been selected for an official psychoeducational rehabilitation program, as well as 31 healthy non-offenders who were matched for age, education and alcohol use.

All participants were given psychiatric assessments, conventional neuropsychological testing, the Iowa Gambling Task and the Temperament and Character Inventory to assess personality patterns, Kasar says.

“First, we found that second-time DUI offenders have a poorer performance on the IGT test than their matched counterparts,” Kasar said. “The IGT is used in many studies investigating decision-making cognition in problems related to alcohol. Deficits in many neuropsychological testing may not necessarily reflect daily living problems associated with alcohol abuse, as some of the abusers could perform fairly well in conventional neuropsychological testing.”

The study is published online ahead of print in the December issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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