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Alcohol more harmful to women

A study conducted at University of Heidelberg in Mannheim, concludes that women appear to develop alcoholic brain damage more rapidly than men.// The study also states that women become dependant on alcohol not as frequently as men do.

This will have a revolutionary impact on the general alcohol consumption pattern if men and women. Therefore it becomes more important to prevent alcohol consumption while and before pregnancy. It might have adverse effects on the child as well.

The experimental group consisted of 42 alcoholic women and 34 alcoholic men who had been admitted for 6 weeks of in-hospital treatment. As the control group, a comparison group of 82 male and female "controls" were also recruited.

In the words of Dr. Alexander Diehl, the author of the paper and investigator, "There is evidence for a faster progression of the developmental events leading to dependence among female alcoholics — the telescoping effect — and an earlier onset of adverse consequences of alcoholism."

For getting results of the study CAT scans were done on the individuals to assess the extent of brain damage. The study as per reports by investigators in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research states that although women alcoholics become dependant on alcohol later the brain damage is faster than men.

There was partial reversal of brain volume loss in over the 6 weeks, the levels were lower as compared to the control group.

The conclusion reached according to Dr. Diehl, "Because of the telescoping effect, early diagnosis and early prevention are even more important for women with alcohol problems than for men."

Source: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, May 2005
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