Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 233-239

Externalizing psychopathology and cognitive functions in patients with early- and late-onset alcohol dependence


Department of Psychiatry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Pawan Kumar Gupta
Department of Psychiatry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
India
Sujita Kumar Kar
Department of Psychiatry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_462_20

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Background: Alcohol use disorder is attributing to a significant health-care burden worldwide. Early-onset alcohol dependence is associated with more adverse outcomes than those with late-onset alcohol dependence. Comorbid externalizing disorders and cognitive deficits may be associated with the negative outcomes in early-onset alcohol dependence. This study aims at exploring the externalizing psychopathology and cognitive performance in early-onset alcohol dependence versus late-onset alcohol dependence. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study carried out on patients attending the psychiatry unit of a tertiary care center of north India after obtaining approval from the institutional ethics committee. A total of 57 patients with alcohol dependence enrolled in the study, after screening a total of 112 patients. Patients were evaluated for the externalizing psychopathology (using SSAGA intravenous [IV]) and cognitive performance (using Wisconsin Card Sorting Test [WCST] and continuous performance test [CPT]). Comparison of sociodemographic, clinical variables as well as externalizing psychopathology and cognitive performance was done between early-onset and late-onset alcohol dependence. Results: Comparison between early-onset and late-onset alcohol dependence revealed that the score of individual externalizing psychopathologies and the total externalizing psychopathology score on SSAGA IV in the early-onset group are significantly higher than late-onset alcohol dependence. Similarly, there is a significant difference in the executive functions (on WCST) between the two groups (early onset < late onset). On CPT, there are significantly more errors of omission in the early-onset group in comparison to their late-onset counterparts. Conclusion: Early-onset alcohol dependence is associated with more externalizing psychopathology and more cognitive dysfunction than late-onset alcohol dependence.



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