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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 58 (2016) 5, 397 - 401

Short report

Alcohol-related cognitive impairment and the DSM-5

S.J.W. Walvoort, A.J. Wester†, M.C. Doorakkers, R.P.C. Kessels, J.I.M. Egger

background It is evident from the dsm-iv-tr that alcohol-related impairment is extremely difficult to classify accurately. As a result, cognitive deficits can easily be overlooked. The dsm-5, however, incorporates a new category, namely ‘neurocognitive disorders’, which may lead to significant improvements in clinical practice.
aim To compare the classification of alcohol-related cognitive dysfunction in dsm-iv-tr and dsm-5 and to discuss the clinical relevance of the revised classification in the dsm-5.
method We compare the chapters of the dsm-iv-tr and the dsm-5 concerning alcohol-related cognitive impairment and describe the changes that have been made.
results The dsm-5 puts greater emphasis on alcohol-related neurocognitive impairment. Not only does dsm-5 distinguish between the degree of severity (major or minor neurocognitive disorder), it also distinguishes between the type of impairment (non-amnestic-type versus confabulating-amnestic type). It also makes a distinction between the durations of impairment (behavioural and/or persistent disorders).
conclusion The dsm-5 gives a clearer description of alcohol-related neurocognitive dysfunction than does dsm-iv-tr and it stresses the essential role of neuropsychological assessment in the classification, diagnosis, and treatment of neurocognitive disorders.

keywords alcohol, dsm-5, neurocognitive disorders