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A wide-spread distinct pattern of cerebral atrophy in patients with alcohol addiction revealed by voxel-based morphometry
  1. Sergei Mechtcheriakov (s.mechtcheriakov{at}uibk.ac.at)
  1. Medical University Innsbruck, Dept. of General Psychiatry, Austria
    1. Christian Brenneis (christian.brenneis{at}uibk.ac.at)
    1. Medical University Innsbruck, Dept. of Neurology, Austria
      1. Karl Egger (karl.egger{at}uibk.ac.at)
      1. Medical University Innsbruck, Dept. of Radiology I, Austria
        1. Florian Koppelstaetter (florian.koppelstaetter{at}uibk.ac.at)
        1. Medical University Innsbruck, Dept. of Radiology II, Austria
          1. Michael Schocke (michael.schocke{at}uibk.ac.at)
          1. Medical University Innsbruck, Dept. of Radiology I, Austria
            1. Josef Marksteiner (j.marksteiner{at}uibk.ac.at)
            1. Medical University Innsbruck, Dept. of General Psychiatry, Austria

              Abstract

              Patients with alcohol addiction show a number of transient or persistent neurological and psychiatric deficits. The complexity of these brain alterations suggests that several brain areas are involved while the definition of the brain alteration patterns is not yet accomplished. In order to determine brain atrophy patterns in patients with alcohol dependence we performed voxel based morphometry (VBM) of grey and white matter in 22 patients with alcohol dependence and 22 healthy controls matched for age and sex. In alcohol dependent patients, VBM of grey matter revealed a significant decrease of density (p<0.001) in precentral gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, insular cortex, dorsal hippocampus, anterior thalamus and cerebellum as compared to control subjects. Reduced density of white matter was found in the periventricular area, pons and cerebellar pedunculi in alcohol patients. We conclude that our findings provide the evidence that alcohol addiction is associated with altered density of grey and white matter of specific brain regions. This supports the assumption that alcohol dependence is associated with both local grey matter dysfunction and with altered brain connectivity. We further suggest that VBM is an effective tool for in vivo investigation of cerebral atrophy in patients with alcohol addiction.

              • alcohol addiction
              • brain atrophy
              • frontal cortex
              • thalamus
              • voxel based morphometry

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