Navigation Links
Women's Brains React Differently Than Men's to Alcoholism, Study Finds
Date:8/31/2012

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term alcohol abuse affects men differently than women, according to a new study of recovering alcoholics that found white matter in women's brains recovers faster than it does in men.

Over time, alcoholism results in the loss of white matter, which is brain tissue that facilitates communication among different areas of the brain. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and the VA Boston Healthcare System found alcoholic women who stop drinking can regain their white matter faster than men who get sober.

"We believe that many of the cognitive and emotional deficits observed in people with chronic alcoholism, including memory problems and flat affect, are related to disconnections that result from a loss of white matter," said the study's leader, Susan Mosher Ruiz, a postdoctoral research scientist in the neuropsychology laboratory at Boston University School of Medicine.

The researchers examined brain scans of 42 formerly alcoholic men and women who drank heavily for more than five years, and compared them to scans from 42 nonalcoholics. The scans revealed those who drank longer had smaller white matter volume. The researchers noted the decrease in white matter among the men was observed in the corpus callosum, while the effect was observed in the women's cortical white matter regions.

The study also found that the number of daily drinks had a strong impact on alcoholic women. The researchers noted the white matter volume loss was 1.5 percent to 2 percent for each additional daily drink. They also found an 8 percent to 10 percent increase in the size of the brain ventricles, which play a protective role in the brain. As white matter dies, cerebrospinal fluid fills the space in the ventricles.

In assessing the recovery of the men's white matter, the researchers found the corpus callosum recovered at a rate of 1 percent per year for each year of abstinence from alcohol.

For those who had stopped drinking within the previous year, white matter volume increased and ventricular volume decreased in women, but not in men. After more than a year in recovery, however, those signs disappeared in women and became apparent in men.

"These findings preliminarily suggest that restoration and recovery of the brain's white matter among alcoholics occurs later in abstinence for men than for women," Mosher Ruiz said in a Boston Medical Center news release.

"We hope that additional research in this area can help lead to improved treatment methods that include educating both alcoholic men and women about the harmful effects of excessive drinking and the potential for recovery with sustained abstinence," she added.

The study was published online recently in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on alcoholism and alcohol abuse.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Boston Medical Center, news release, August 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Fit Brains, online portfolio of cognitive games, reaches milestone of 75 million brain scores
2. Two Languages Better Than One for Kids Brains: Study
3. Hormone May Boost Aging, Failing Brains
4. Musicians Brains Might Have an Edge on Aging
5. Researchers restore neuron function to brains damaged by Huntingtons disease
6. Well-connected brains make you smarter in older age
7. Exercise Plus Computer Time May Boost Seniors Brains
8. Strength Training May Give Boost to Seniors Brains
9. Global platelet reactivity identifies high risk ACS patients
10. Global platelet reactivity and high risk ACS patients
11. Chronic Pain May Depend on Emotional Reaction to Injury
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Women's Brains React Differently Than Men's to Alcoholism, Study Finds
(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 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest ... as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are ... Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental ... exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards took place ... BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to receive an ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who ... with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, ... Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The ... in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support its ... PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 , , , WHEN: ... 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, ... , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global ... Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager ... pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Revolutionary ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology ... of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet ... possibilities for IoT devices.      (Photo: ... introduces a number of ,world firsts,: , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, ... Surgical Procedure Volumes: Global ... surgical procedure volume data in a geographic context. The ... of growth drivers and inhibitors, including world population growth, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: