EEG's were carried out on two hundred and one (201) alcoholics admitted to a four week treatment program. The majority were grossly intoxicated on admission and presented the usual differential problems during the first few days of hospitalization. In spite of therapeutic doses of medication before testing, 85% had totally normal EEG's and only 5.5% revealed clearly abnormal tracings. Of those for whom repeat records were later obtained, four of six with an abnormality showed a persistance of abnormality suggesting underlying organic dysfunction and not just 'intoxication'. EEG has a place in identification of the alcoholic patient at greater risk for neurological complications and may be useful in alerting the psychiatrist to obtain additional personal and family history, neurological examination, and when appropriate, further tests for potential structural abnormality. Routine use of structural tests such as computerized scan will aid in the identification of serious structural abnormalities but will not identify equally serious disorganizing functional abnormalities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology