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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2016, Article ID 3730940, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/3730940
Clinical Study

The Effect of Chronic Alprazolam Intake on Memory, Attention, and Psychomotor Performance in Healthy Human Male Volunteers

1Department of Pharmacy, University of Asia Pacific, Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh
2Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
3Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh

Received 3 March 2016; Revised 12 May 2016; Accepted 7 June 2016

Academic Editor: João Quevedo

Copyright © 2016 Zahid Sadek Chowdhury et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Alprazolam is used as an anxiolytic drug for generalized anxiety disorder and it has been reported to produce sedation and anterograde amnesia. In the current study, we randomly divided 26 healthy male volunteers into two groups: one group taking alprazolam 0.5 mg and the other taking placebo daily for two weeks. We utilized the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) software to assess the chronic effect of alprazolam. We selected Paired Associates Learning (PAL) and Delayed Matching to Sample (DMS) tests for memory, Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVP) for attention, and Choice Reaction Time (CRT) for psychomotor performance twice: before starting the treatment and after the completion of the treatment. We found statistically significant impairment of visual memory in one parameter of PAL and three parameters of DMS in alprazolam group. The PAL mean trial to success and total correct matching in 0-second delay, 4-second delay, and all delay situation of DMS were impaired in alprazolam group. RVP total hits after two weeks of alprazolam treatment were improved in alprazolam group. But such differences were not observed in placebo group. In our study, we found that chronic administration of alprazolam affects memory but attentive and psychomotor performance remained unaffected.