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Recent alcohol intake and suicidality — a neuropsychological perspective

  • H. O’Connell
  • B. A. Lawlor
Original Paper

Abstract

Background

Alcohol use disorders and suicidal behaviours are among the most prevalent and damaging of all psychiatric phenomena in Ireland and worldwide. Furthermore, alcohol use both chronic and acute has long been identified as a potent risk factor for suicidal behaviour.

Aims

In this paper, the authors review the observational and experimental evidence for the acute neuropsychological effects of alcohol intake on suicidal ideation and behaviour.

Methods

A selective review of the literature was conducted, using the PubMed database. Search terms employed included ‘alcohol’, ‘suicide’, ‘binge’ and ‘acute alcohol intake’.

Results

Cognitive mechanisms implicated include alcohol-induced deficits in attention-allocation, prospective cognition, autobiographical memory and disinhibition. Emotional mechanisms include alcohol-induced dysphoria, depression and aggression.

Conclusions

This paper serves to highlight the importance of identifying and tackling acute alcohol intake and binge drinking as a risk factor for suicidal behaviour.

Keywords

Suicidal Ideation Suicidal Behaviour Binge Drinking Autobiographical Memory Vascular Cognitive Impairment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mercer’s Institute for Research on AgeingSt. James’s HospitalDublin 8

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