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Keywords:

  • Alcoholism;
  • Brain Dysfunction;
  • Zn Deficiency;
  • Corticosteroids;
  • Free Radicals

Chronic alcoholism is associated with hypercortisolemia and low serum zinc (Zn). Hypercortisolernia could be responsible for alcoholic cerebral atrophy and is also associated with enhanced NMDA neurotoxicity. It is hypothesized that low brain Zn, noted in chronic alcoholics, enhances NMDA excitotoxicity and ethanol withdrawal seizure susceptibility. Also, Zn deficiency can produce neuronal damage through increased free radical formation. Clinically, Zn replacement therapy may be a rational approach to the treatment of alcohol withdrawal seizures and alcohol-related brain dysfunction.