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By On August 29th, 2006

After Years of Sobriety, Alcoholics’ Brains Near Normal Function

A recent study conducted by George Fein, Ph.D. and colleagues found that early rehab for alcoholics can result in a nearly full mental recovery. The study was conducted among 48 alcoholics studied after 7-13yrs of sobriety. According to Dr. Fein, “We found pretty much full recovery… we weren’t expecting that.” This is with some exception, particularly regarding spatial processing, a function that affects one’s mapping and orientation skills. Below is an excerpt:

A group of 48 alcoholics who had remained sober for an average of nearly seven years (and some as long as 13 years), performed essentially the same on an extensive battery of neurocognitive tests as a group of healthy controls, George Fein, Ph.D., and colleagues reported in the September issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Previous studies have shown that the brain bounces back substantially over the first month to year of sobriety, but few studies have assessed mental function after years of abstinence, said Dr. Fein, formerly of the University of California San Francisco, is now with the company Neurobehavioral Research.

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