The aim of this study was to determine the 12-week cognitive changes in topiramate-treated patients recently detoxified from alcohol.
Participants were inpatients with DSM-IV alcohol dependence. All of them were discharged within 14 days after the initiation of topiramate treatment. The topiramate dose range was 50–300 mg/day. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) was used on day 0, day 29, day 57, and day 85. Differences of the MoCA total and seven subtest scores among four time-points were compared.
Thirty-eight participants (36 men and two women) had a mean ± SD age of 43.1 ± 8.6 years old. At enrollment, they were abstinent for a mean ± SD of 11.5 ± 5.3 days. Five, one, and three patients dropped out of the study on day 29, day 57, and day 85, respectively. On day 85, the mean ± SD dose of topiramate was 253.1 ± 60.8 mg/day. Alcohol consumption decreased drastically during follow up. At each time-point, 75%–80% of the participants were continuous abstainers. The mean ± SD MoCA total, language subtest, and delayed recall subtest scores increased significantly from day 0 to day 85, from 22.0 ± 4.7 to 24.7 ± 3.4 (P < 0.01), from 1.1 ± 1.0 to 1.3 ± 1.0 (P = 0.03), and from 2.7 ± 1.7 to 4.1 ± 1.0 (P < 0.01), respectively.
Topiramate-treated patients recently detoxified from alcohol usually have an improvement of their cognitive function, especially in the language and delayed recall domains. This phenomenon may be caused by the greater influence of cognitive recovery associated with decreased drinking as compared with topiramate-induced cognitive impairment.