12. Alcoholic Brain Damage

  1. Robert Crichton and
  2. Roberta Ward

Published Online: 6 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118553480.ch12

Metal-based Neurodegeneration: From Molecular Mechanisms to Therapeutic Strategies

Metal-based Neurodegeneration: From Molecular Mechanisms to Therapeutic Strategies

How to Cite

Crichton, R. and Ward, R. (eds) (2013) Alcoholic Brain Damage, in Metal-based Neurodegeneration: From Molecular Mechanisms to Therapeutic Strategies, John Wiley and Sons Ltd, Chichester, United Kingdom. doi: 10.1002/9781118553480.ch12

Editor Information

  1. Unit of Biochemistry, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 OCT 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119977148

Online ISBN: 9781118553480

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Keywords:

  • alcoholic brain damage;
  • genetic influences;
  • inherent modifying factors;
  • neuroinflammation

Summary

Alcoholic brain damage is caused by chronic, long-term and excessive consumption of alcohol. Not all alcohol abusers show alcoholic brain damage, since environmental and genetic influences, as well as an individual's acquired and inherent modifying factors, play important roles. This chapter is directed at the alcoholic brain damage induced by high alcohol intake over a long period of time <5-10 years. Chronic alcohol abusers during alcohol intoxication exhibit a variety of acute adverse effects which include ataxia of gait, slurred speech, prolonged reaction times, poor memory consolidation, impaired emotional modulation and compromised judgement. Overall this induces impaired judgement, blunted affect, poor insight, social withdrawal, reduced motivation, distractibility, and attention and impulse-control deficits. Ethanol has a modulating effect on immunity, inducing neuroinflammation, particularly when other stimulating molecules are present, which may be an important factor in the aetiology of alcoholic brain damage.