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Anales de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas (Asunción)

Print version ISSN 1816-8949


WAISMAN CAMPOS, Marcela et al. Neurocognitive Assessment in Addictions. An. Fac. Cienc. Méd. (Asunción) [online]. 2022, vol.55, n.1, pp.17-26. ISSN 1816-8949.


This paper aims to provide a brief review of recent evidence considering addiction-related cognitive factors. Clinical observations, conventional wisdom, and well-reasoned theoretical mechanisms suggest that the acute and chronic use of psychoactive substances would impair the cognitive functioning of individuals. Therefore, the neurocognitive assessment for addiction should be employed in daily practice. Early interventions are aimed to detect prodromal symptoms and provide prompt responses in the first stages of disorders.


We aimed to summarize information on neurocognitive assessment in addictions to provide general guidance to clinicians working with patients affected by substance use disorders.

Materials and methods:

Data search included the main search engines (i.e., PubMed, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and SciELO) and selected articles published in the last twenty years on evidence-based neurocognitive assessment in addictions using the following keywords: “(Neurocognitive OR Neuropsychological assessment) AND (SUD or Drug Dependence OR Abuse) OR Alcohol OR Nicotine OR Addiction”.


This brief article highlights the importance of assessing cognitive performances in the early stage of mental disorders and, specifically, the cognitive characteristics of subjects using multiple psychoactive substances. Further research should describe the longitudinal outcome of cognitive performances among these patients through the different stages of illness: intoxication, early withdrawal, and late withdrawal.


The assessment of cognitive skills may suggest tailored treatment interventions for early cognitive rehabilitation to reduce the biopsychosocial impact of substance abuse and promote adherence to these treatments.

Keywords : Substance use disorders; addictions; cognitive profile; early interventions; assessment, rehabilitation..

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