Background: This study aims to retrospectively investigate the comorbidity of ADHD multiple symptoms (behavioral) with alcohol addiction in a sample of adult alcohol-dependent patients and to test their current attentional skills (behavioral and cognitive).
Methods: Thirty-two adult alcohol-dependent patients were examined for ADHD using a semi-structured interview and the Mini Mental State Examination to evaluate attention and inhibition functions. Brown ADD Scales were used to specifically examine ADHD syndrome. Patients were compared with thirty matched control participants selected from healthy population in few measures of attentional control and working memory.
Results: 50% of patients showed evidence of primary ADHD symptoms: specifically, 28.12% showed criteria for ADHD highly probable, 12.50% for ADHD probable but not certain and 9.38% for ADHD possible but not likely. Patients also revealed several deficits in the selective visual attention, interference control and verbal working memory compared to the control group.
Conclusions: These results revealed that adult alcohol-dependent patients had retrospectively high comorbidity with ADHD and significant current deficits of the executive functions. These findings suggest the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in order to prevent the development of alcohol dependence.
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