Navigation Links
Researchers find alcoholics display abnormal brain activity when processing facial expressions
Date:8/11/2009

(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
gina.digravio@bmc.org
617-638-8480
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... City trips ... (IBT World Travel Trends Report). As travelers visit both urban destinations, they are ... and prolonged sun exposure. In response, the outdoor industry has blurred the lines ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Z-Medica, LLC, ... of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) will acquire QuikClot® Bleeding Control Kits® (BCK) to ... developed in association with efforts by the American College of Surgeons, U.S. Department ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... its leading physicians, Paul Yost, will begin serving as new board chair for ... this month. Yost will serve the remainder of soon-to-be former chair Mark Refowitz’s ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... In ... Self-Funding Success website has recently developed and published an informational resource that addresses ... created based on common inquiries the site’s team of third party administrator (TPA) ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Prominant bariatric surgeon and well-known ... to offer the recently FDA-approved Obalon Balloon System to his patients. The Obalon ... Surgical’s already comprehensive list of weight-loss services. Dr. Liu is proud to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... Md. , March 27, 2017  ImMAGE Biotherapeutics ... its immunotherapy successfully passed early toxicology and efficacy studies. ... system to target a specific protein, MAGE A, in ... negative breast cancer. After 4 weeks ... able to show very little toxicity in a full ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... STUTTGART, Germany , March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... provide over 7,000 attendees and more than 600 ... learn, and discover opportunities and solutions that will ... - 6 April 2017 at the Messe Stuttgart, ... is the preeminent medical technology platform showcasing the ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... CHICAGO , March 27, 2017  A ... Educators (AADE) found that Medicare,s Competitive Bidding Program (CBP) ... diabetes testing supplies. The lack of choice forces beneficiaries ... can have dire health consequences. AADE,s ... reports by AADE and others pointing out the inherent ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: