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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Evidence for a gender-related effect of alcoholism on brain volumes.

Author: Hommer,-Daniel-W; Momenan,-Reza; Kaiser,-Erica; Rawlings,-Robert-R
Author Background: National Insts of Health, National Inst on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, MD, US
Date 2/2001
Type Journal
Journal Title: American-Journal-of-Psychiatry
Volume/Pages Vol 158(2): 198-204
Subject Matter Research, Gender, Alcoholism, Brain Size
Abstract Compared brain volumes of alcoholic and nonalcoholic men and women (aged 30-60 yrs) to determine if the magnitudes of differences in brain volumes between alcoholic and nonalcoholic women are greater than those between alcoholic and nonalcoholic men. The volume of intracranial contents was segmented into gray matter, white matter, sulcal CSF, and ventricular CSF from a magnetic resonance image obtained after the alcoholic Ss had attained 3 wks of sobriety. Alcoholic women had significantly smaller volumes of gray and white matter as well as greater volumes of sulcal and ventricular CSF than nonalcoholic women. The differences in gray and white matter volumes between alcoholic and nonalcoholic men were significant, but was of a smaller magnitude than the significance of the differences between alcoholic and nonalcoholic women. The proportion of intracranial contents occupied by gray matter was smaller in alcoholic women than in alcoholic men. These results are consistent with greater sensitivity to alcohol neurotoxicity among women. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2000 APA, all rights reserved)