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Dysexecutive symptoms in substance abusers under treatment using the Spanish version of the dysexecutive questionnaire (DEX-Sp)

, : Dysexecutive symptoms in substance abusers under treatment using the Spanish version of the dysexecutive questionnaire (DEX-Sp). Revista de Neurologia 47(9): 457-463

Dysexecutive syndrome has traditionally been related to alterations affecting the functioning of the frontal lobes of the brain. Different studies suggest that this syndrome is present in addicts to substances and, hence, the use of a brief questionnaire has been put forward as a way of carrying out an initial screening for the condition, prior to a thorough assessment of the executive functions by a neuropsychologist. The Spanish version of the dysexecutive questionnaire (DEX-Sp) was administered to 176 addicts who were beginning treatment and to 213 non-clinical (control) participants. The DEX is a 20-item self report that evaluates a wide range of dysexecutive symptoms. Statistically significant differences appeared between the scores of addicts and those obtained by the control group. Whereas males showed differences in the types of symptoms they reported, female addicts displayed more intense dysexecutive clinical features, which affected all the areas under frontal control. No significant differences were observed as regards the main drug of abuse. It can be established that a total score of 24 points or more on the complete DEX-Sp scale suggests the existence of dysexecutive symptoms that are clinically relevant. Likewise, scores of 33 points or more indicate a probable moderate or severe dysexecutive syndrome. The DEX seems to be an instrument that is sensitive, fast and easy to apply in the initial assessment of addicts who are seeking treatment.


PMID: 18985594

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