Skip to content
This project aims to investigate thiamine levels among heavy alcohol users in Alice Springs, Northern Territory. The project commences in November 2012, and is being led by Dr Kylie Dingwall of the Menzies School of Health Research, and Dr Jen Delima from Alice Springs Hospital.
Alcohol dependence is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Territorians. Alcohol rapidly reduces thiamine levels among alcoholics, resulting in cognitive dysfunction and behavioural issues. Thiamine is a vital substrate enabling brain cell utilisation of glucose facilitating cognitive function.
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. It will correlate thiamine biomarkers with clinical state, as assessed by a computerised cognitive assessment and standard neurological examination, among consecutive alcohol dependent patients.
Based on their presenting clinical state, alcohol dependent patients will receive mid (300mg) or high (900mg) daily parenteral thiamine dose for 3 days to 5 days, reducing thereafter, as per current clinical practice. Changes in thiamine levels and cognitive and neurological performance will be re-assessed at days 3, 7 and 30.
Abstract adapted from Menzies School of Health Research
Dr Kylie Dingwall
Menzies School of Health Research