White matter of abstinent alcoholics recovers over time

May 21, 2012
White matter of abstinent alcoholics recovers over time

(HealthDay) -- Based on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), the microstructural changes seen in the genu and body of the corpus callosum in recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients are found to improve after one year of abstinence, according to research published online May 2 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Omar M. Alhassoon, Ph.D., of the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues used DTI to compare 15 recently detoxified alcohol-dependent male patients and 15 age- and education-matched nonalcoholic controls. The comparisons were made after two weeks and after one year of by the alcohol-dependent patients.

The researchers found that, compared with controls, after two weeks of abstinence, significantly lower fractional anisotropy and greater radial diffusivity were seen in the genu and body of the of the recently detoxified alcohol-dependent patients. After one year there was a significant time by group interaction, with fractional anisotropy increasing and radial diffusivity decreasing in these two regions in patients but not in controls. There were no improvements seen between the two time points in a smaller relapse group.

"The results suggest susceptibility of the genu and body of the corpus callosum to the effects of alcohol, and the potential for recovery of both these regions after abstinence, perhaps via mechanisms involving myelin reconstitution," the authors write.

Explore further: Autism may involve disordered white matter in the brain

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Autism may involve disordered white matter in the brain

December 5, 2011
It's still unclear what's different in the brains of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), but evidence from genetic and cell studies points to abnormalities in how brain cells (neurons) connect to each other. A study ...

Damaged gait and balance can recover with long-term abstinence from alcohol

September 15, 2011
Chronic alcoholism is often associated with a disturbed gait and balance, likely caused by alcohol damage to neural systems. While some studies have suggested that abstinence can lead to partial recovery of gait and balance ...

Recommended for you

Concern with potential rise in super-potent cannabis concentrates

July 21, 2017
University of Queensland researchers are concerned the recent legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Australia may give rise to super-potent cannabis concentrates with associated harmful effects.

Findings link aldosterone with alcohol use disorder

July 18, 2017
A new study led by scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, demonstrates that aldosterone, a hormone produced in the adrenal glands, may contribute ...

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18

July 17, 2017
A study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth, found that young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence.

Why does prenatal alcohol exposure increase the likelihood of addiction?

July 7, 2017
One of the many negative consequences when fetuses are exposed to alcohol in the womb is an increased risk for drug addiction later in life. Neuroscientists in the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions are ...

Researchers say U.S. policies on drugs and addiction could use a dose of neuroscience

June 23, 2017
Tens of thousands of Americans die from drug overdoses every year – around 50,000 in 2015 – and the number has been steadily climbing for at least the last decade and a half, according to the National Institute on Drug ...

Study provides further support for genetic factors underlying addictions

June 13, 2017
Impairment of a particular gene raises increases susceptibility to opioid addiction liability as well as vulnerability to binge eating according to a new study.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.