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Alcohol Consumption, Drinking Patterns, and Cognitive Performance in Young Adults: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analysis

Authors
  • hendriks, henk
  • van de rest, ondine
  • snippe, almar
  • kieboom, jasper
  • hogenelst, koen
Publication Date
Jan 13, 2020
Source
MDPI
Keywords
Language
English
License
Green
External links

Abstract

Long-term alcohol abuse is associated with poorer cognitive performance. However, the associations between light and moderate drinking and cognitive performance are less clear. We assessed this association via cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses in a sample of 702 Dutch students. At baseline, alcohol consumption was assessed using questionnaires and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) across four weeks (&lsquo / Wave 1&rsquo / ). Subsequently, cognitive performance, including memory, planning, and reasoning, was assessed at home using six standard cognition tests presented through an online platform. A year later, 436 students completed the four weeks of EMA and online cognitive testing (&lsquo / Wave 2&rsquo / ). In both waves, there was no association between alcohol consumption and cognitive performance. Further, alcohol consumption during Wave 1 was not related to cognitive performance at Wave 2. In addition, EMA-data-based drinking patterns, which varied widely between persons but were relatively consistent over time within persons, were also not associated with cognitive performance. Post-hoc analyses of cognitive performance revealed higher within-person variance scores (from Wave 1 to Wave 2) than between-person variance scores (both Wave 1 and Wave 2). In conclusion, no association was observed between alcohol consumption and cognitive performance in a large Dutch student sample. However, the online cognitive tests performed at home may not have been sensitive enough to pick up differences in cognitive performance associated with alcohol consumption.

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