Navigation Links
Researchers find alcoholics display abnormal brain activity when processing facial expressions

(Boston) Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that individuals who have a long history of alcoholism, but who have been abstinent for at least a month up to many years, showed abnormal brain activity when looking at facial expressions of others. The findings, which appear in the August 11 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, confirms that alcoholics suffer from abnormalities in parts of the brain that control emotional perception and memory.

The emotional changes experienced by a long-term chronic alcoholic cover a broad spectrum. Some of these changes, apathy and emotional flatness are reminiscent of those seen in patients with bilateral frontal lobe damage or in patients with right-hemisphere damage. Other abnormalities are subtle. For example, alcoholics may make atypical judgments regarding the nature of facial emotional expressions, suggesting that alcoholism may involve an underlying neurocognitive deficit in the capacity to comprehend emotional information.

In this study, researchers compared abstinent long-term alcoholics to healthy nonalcoholic controls by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that focused on abnormalities in temporal limbic (amygdala and hippocampus) brain activation to emotionally expressive faces.

Employing both verbal (word) and non-verbal (face) materials in an effort to contrast relative hemispheric sensitivities to the cumulative effects of alcohol abuse, the researchers found abstinent long-term alcoholics showed decreased and abnormal brain activity when looking at facial expressions, in particular in the amygdala and hippocampus areas of the brain.

According to the researchers, the results provide unique neuroimaging evidence of neurophysiological changes in emotional functioning associated with chronic alcoholism.

The findings also concur with clinical reports documenting interpersonal difficulties in this population "Since "reading facial expressions" is an important part of social interaction, alcoholics as well as other previously addicted groups, may be suffering from brain abnormalities in parts of the brain that control emotional perception and memory," said author Marlene Oscar Berman, PhD, a professor of neurology (Neuropsychology) and psychiatry and Director of BUSM's Laboratory of Neuropsychology. "Furthermore, these results reveal neural substrates underlying alcoholism-related emotional anomalies and impairments of brain reward circuitry that mediate addictions such as alcoholism," she added.


Contact: Gina DiGravio
Boston University Medical Center

Related medicine news :

1. UT Southwestern researchers launch study into search-and-destroy antigen for deadly skin cancer
2. Researchers Produce First Nationwide Study of Homeless in ERs
3. Yerkes researchers propose ambitious new strategies for AIDS vaccine research
4. Researchers Identify New Method to Selectively Kill Metastatic Melanoma Cells
5. Researchers identify new method to selectively kill metastatic melanoma cells
6. Researchers effectively treat tumors with use of nanotubes
7. Fox Chase researchers identify differences in treatments and outcomes of patients with second primary lung cancers versus those with one primary lung cancer
8. Researchers Discover the Tale Behind Short Dogs
9. Higher drug doses needed to defeat tuberculosis, UT Southwestern researchers report
10. Mayo researchers find anesthesia not harmful for babies during birth process
11. Mayo Researchers Find Anesthesia Not Harmful for Babies During Birth Process
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing ... their videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice ... , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin ... of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical ... and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin ... injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his ... of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an effort to ... treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a pain management ... (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause episodes of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San ... Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from ... adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016   Bay Area Lyme ... Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness , ... Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, ... announced the five finalists of Lyme Innovation ... More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Va. , June 24, 2016 The ... set of recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical ... (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage decisions, ... the "value" of new medicines. The recommendations ... does not appear on the drug label, a prohibition ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Research ... World Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their ... Market for Companion Diagnostics The World Market ... and personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes ... Test Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: