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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes


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