Liver function tests and neuropsychologic impairment in substance abusers.
The relationship between residual neuropsychologic dysfunction in alcoholics and subtle changes in liver function during acute phases of treatment was examined. Noncirrhotic alcoholics who exhibited extreme elevations in the liver enzyme gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) were found to have greater impairments in tasks of visuoperceptual and conceptual abilities when compared to alcoholics with normal or only mild elevations in GGT. The relationship between acute liver dysfunction and residual neuropsychologic impairment appeared to be independent of age and patterns of drinking. The implications of these findings in relation to treatment planning and prognosis of alcoholics are discussed.