, Volume 110, Issue 1–2, pp 181–186 | Cite as

A comparison of the amnesic effects of lorazepam in alcoholics and non-alcoholics

  • Jane L. Mallick
  • Kenneth C. Kirkby
  • Frances Martin
  • Melissa Philp
  • Maria J. Hennessy
Original Investigations


The transient amnesia produced by lorazepam has been suggested to have much in common with the permanent amnesia associated with organic brain damage. The present study examined the amnesia associated with chronic alcoholism and acute lorazepam administration and hypothesised that because alcoholics have prior impairment, their response to lorazepam induced amnesia would differ from that of non-alcoholics. Memory functioning was tested in 20 chronic alcoholics and 20 non-alcoholic controls both before and after administration of either 2 mg lorazepam or a placebo. It was found that, although there were some discrepancies on some of the memory tests, both long term alcohol abuse and acute lorazepam administration impaired visual and verbal episodic memory but did not impair semantic or short-term memory (STM).

Key words

Benzodiazepine Lorazepam Amnesia Alcoholism Neuropsychological tests 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane L. Mallick
    • 1
  • Kenneth C. Kirkby
    • 2
  • Frances Martin
    • 1
  • Melissa Philp
    • 3
  • Maria J. Hennessy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryClinical SchoolHobartAustralia
  3. 3.John Edis HospitalHobartAustralia

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