Semantic and Phonemic Verbal Fluency Performance in Patients with General Anxiety Disorders and Allostatic Load under Alprazolam Treatment
SORIA, CARLOS A.; REMEDI, CAROLINA; D' ALESSIO, LUCIANA; ROLDÁN, EMILIO J. A.
Open Journal of Psychiatry
Scientific Research Publishing
Año: 2019 vol. 09 p. 138 - 152
Purpose: Anxiety disorders are frequently associated with chronic stress withpossible cognitive consequences. The aim of this study was to determine theverbal fluency performance in a cohort of patients with anxiety disorders andallostatic load, treated with alprazolam during 12 weeks. Methods: Patientswith GAD (general anxiety disorders, DSM IV), with >6 in Hamilton AnxietyRating Scale (HAM-A), neuroticism > 18 (NEO-FFI inventory), and normalMini-Mental State Examination were included. Clinical and Psychiatric examination,Allostatic Load Index and cognitive assessment were analyzed beforeand after 12 weeks of treatment. The phonemic and semantic verbal fluencytests were determined in all patients. The scoring for each fluency taskwas determined by counting the number of correct words. The total scorefrom each semantic and phonemic verbal task was analyzed comparing theindividual score with normal data controlled by age and sex. Patients withscores > −2 standard deviation (SD) from normative data were consideredimpaired. Results: Fifty-four patients completed the semantic verbal fluencytest before treatment and fifty patients completed after treatment. Accordingto the z-scores before treatment 7 patients of 54 (12.9%) had verbal fluencyimpairments. After treatment none patients showed semantic verbal fluencydeficits but 3 patients of 50 (6%) showed phonemic impairments. Impairedgroup was significantly associated with an older age before treatment (p =0.033) and with a similar tendency but not significant (p = 0.09) after treatment(Student t test). Conclusion: In this study older age factor was associatedwith verbal fluency impairment in GAD patients. Stratified treatmentsanalyzing age and sex factors, including allostatic load measurements andcognitive assessments may be useful tools to determine the effectiveness andthe safety of psychopharmacological treatments.