Log In

Reset Password

Predicting Drug And Alcohol Relapse



Text Size

Predicting Drug And Alcohol Relapse

Research conducted at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington has shown that the electroencephalogram or EEG, a recording of the brain’s electrical activity, may be a reliable tool for predicting relapse in substance-dependent patients.

Lance Bauer, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Neural Dynamics Laboratory at the Health Center, measured the EEGs of 107 substance-dependent patients enrolled in a substance-abuse treatment program and 22 volunteers with no history of substance abuse.

During the six-month study, 48 patients relapsed –– all of whom shared a similar trait, their EEGs showed an increased amount of high-frequency activity. The remaining patients, and the people with no history of substance abuse, showed no such characteristic.

“The results far outweigh any clinical and demographic variables as predictors for relapse,” said Dr Bauer. “It suggest that patients prone to relapse have a deficit in frontal brain function which normally acts to dampen and control impulsive behavior. EEGs may prove valuable in providing better care for patients by identifying those most likely to relapse,” he said. “These patients may benefit from more intensive, specialized treatment.”

Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply