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A new project run by Menzies School of Health Research aims to investigate thiamine levels among heavy alcohol users.
The Cognitive response to thiamine replacement therapy in alcohol affected patients in Alice Springs project will commence in November this year, headed by Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr Kylie Dingwall. Addiction Medicine Physician, Dr Jen Delima, from Alice Springs Hospital will also take a lead role in the project.
Alcohol dependence rapidly reduces thiamine (Vitamin B1) levels among alcoholics, resulting in cognitive dysfunction and behavioural issues. The project will quantify the prevalence and degree of thiamine deficiency, and cognitive and neurological impairment, among alcohol dependent patients in the Alice Springs Hospital.
Dr Dingwall says that an improved understanding of the specific impairments associated with different levels of thiamine deficiency could help to more accurately determine the appropriate thiamine dose, reduce risk of brain injury, and subsequently improve patient outcomes.
'There has been little study of this in our Indigenous population which is critical as different populations can have differing responses to thiamine deficiency,' Dr Dingwall said.
Dr Delima also added, 'Given the significance of alcohol related disorders in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, the project has global implications for alcohol affected patients.'
Source: Menzies School of Health Research
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