Purpose: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of blink reflex as a method for obtaining early diagnosis of cranial nerve involvement in alcoholic patients. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted on 30 male alcoholics with a mean age of 43 years. They had histories of alcohol abuse for at least 6 years ( mean: 25). At the time of recording, they had undergone detoxification treatment for a mean of 27 days. Results: R1 ( early response), R2Y ( second ipsilateral response), and R2C ( second contralateral response) latencies in alcoholics were prolonged relative to controls and the differences were statistically significant ( p < 0.02, p < 0.001, p ! 0.001, respectively). According to the defined criteria, 40% of the patients had abnormal responses, and the most common abnormality was the unilateral prolongation of R1 (13%). Conclusion: Finding abnormal blink reflex responses in alcoholic patients has suggested that blink reflex testing is a useful method for the evaluation of subclinical cranial nerve involvement in alcoholic patients. Blink reflex testing may be useful in detecting early changes and in the follow-up of alcoholic disorder. Copyright (C) 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel.