In view of the very extensive and often prolonged use of benzodiazepines in therapeutic practice, this study was designed to investigate whether or not cognitive ability is impaired in long-term benzodiazepine users, and to determine the nature and extent of any deficit. Fifty patients currently taking benzodiazepines for at least one year, thirty-four who had stopped taking benzodiazepines, and a matched control group of subjects who had never taken benzodiazepines or who had taken benzodiazepines in the past for less than one year were administered a battery of neuropsychological tests designed to measure a wide range of cognitive functions. It was found that patients taking high doses of benzodiazepines for long periods of time perform poorly on tasks involving visual-spatial ability and sustained attention. This is consistent with deficits in posterior cortical cognitive function.
- Study Author(s):
- Susan Golombok, Parimala Moodley, Malcolm Lader
- Journal Name:
- Psychological Medicine, 18, 2, 365-374
- Publication Date:
- May 1988