Lesch Alcoholism Typology Medical Treatment and Research
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Arch Psych Psych 2010;12(4):37–48
Aim. Alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence produce very high health costs. Nowadays, early detection and intervention are very well accepted. Due to the well proven theory regarding the heterogeneity of alcohol dependence and for the purpose of research and therapy, four subgroups of alcohol dependence have been established. Methods. The Lesch Typology was developed as a result of a prospective long - term study and led to a decision tree identifying alcohol dependent patients' subgroups. The results show that each subgroup requires different and specific treatments. Within the framework of a computer programme (www. LAT-online. at) the decision tree can be used very easily. Meanwhile, this method has been field - tested in numerous basic and clinical trials. After the diagnostic procedure, a protocol of the questionnaire displays reachable and realistic treatment goals. Furthermore, it provides information about the guidance and treatment of each patient subgroup. Conclusion. Nowadays, the heterogeneity of the disease alcohol dependence is without any doubt an accepted certainty. By utilizing the Lesch Typology, specific treatment approaches of the diverse subgroups may be applied accordingly. Discussion. Using the subgroups defined in the Lesch Typology for basic and clinical research subgroup customized treatments can be prescribed, and consequently even better treatment outcomes in alcohol dependent patients can be awaited.