Hypoperfusion of Inferior Frontal Brain Regions in Abstinent Alcoholics: A Pilot SPECT Study(*)

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From: Journal of Studies on Alcohol(Vol. 61, Issue 1)
Publisher: Alcohol Research Documentation, Inc.
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 4,245 words

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Abstract :

Objective: This pilot study evaluated hypotheses concerning the relationship between cerebral hypoperfusion and residual deficits in the functioning of frontal brain systems in abstinent long-term alcoholics. Method: The participants (N = 22) were 10 healthy, abstinent alcoholics (9 men) and 12 age-equivalent nonalcoholic controls (10 men). Cerebral blood flow was observed through the use of regionally specific computer-derived quantitative analysis of single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) perfusion images. Measures of alcohol use, abstinence and neuro-psychological functioning were also obtained to relate to SPECT findings. Results: A positive relationship was observed between perfusion levels in the left inferior frontal brain region and years of sobriety. Alcoholics with less than 4 years of sobriety had significantly reduced left inferior frontal perfusion compared with both nonalcoholic controls and alcoholics having longer periods of sobriety. Conclusions: The findings support the hypothesis that frontal brain abnormalities in alcoholics may subside with extended abstinence. (J. Stud. Alcohol 61: 32-37, 2000)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A58617594