The EEG manifestations of chronic ethanol abuse: Relation to cerebral cortical atrophy


  • Dr. S. E. Newman MD

    Corresponding author
    1. EEG Laboratory, Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI
    • Clinical Neurosciences Branch, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20014
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Eleven chronic alcoholic patients without other nonneurological or traumatic disease were evaluated by a simultaneous electroencephalogram and computerized axial tomogram. The findings suggested that chronic abusers of approximately 60 years of age or less may have a normal EEG despite the presence of cerebral cortical atrophy or dementia. In alcoholics over 60 years of age, the greater the severity of cerebral cortical atrophy, the greater the slowing in background frequency of the EEG. Voltage diminution and slow-wave transients also occurred more frequently in the older patients. The incidence of EEG abnormalities was greater than the incidence of CAT scan evidence for cerebral cortical atrophy in alcoholics over 60 years of age with dementia.