This study was supported by Grants AA05965, MH30854, MH40041 (Department of Veterans Affairs).
Relationship between Alcohol Withdrawal Seizures and Temporal Lobe White Matter Volume Deficits
Article first published online: 11 APR 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 20, Issue 2, pages 348–354, April 1996
How to Cite
Sullivan, E. V., Marsh, L., Mathalon, D. H., Lim, K. O. and Pfefferbaum, A. (1996), Relationship between Alcohol Withdrawal Seizures and Temporal Lobe White Matter Volume Deficits. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 20: 348–354. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1996.tb01651.x
- Issue published online: 11 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 11 APR 2006
- Received for publication July 3, 1995; accepted September 27, 1995
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging;
- Withdrawal Seizures;
- White Matter;
- Temporal Lobes
A previous magnetic resonance imaging study from our laboratory reported significant temporal lobe volume deficits in cortical gray matter, white matter, and anterior hippocampus in chronic alcoholic men relative to controls. In the present study, we reexamined these data and asked whether withdrawal seizure history was predictive of either the hippocampal or the extrahippocampal volume deficits. A review of the medical charts indicated that 11 alcoholics had experienced one or more alcohol-related seizures and 35 were seizure-free; no patient had a seizure disorder unrelated to alcohol. The two alcoholic groups did not differ significantly in age, education, alcohol consumption variables, premorbid intelligence, Memory Quotient, Trail Making, or detection of hidden figures. Although each alcoholic group showed significant bilateral volume deficits of the anterior hippocampus and frontal-parietal and temporal gray matter, relative to controls, the seizure group had significantly smaller temporal lobe white matter volumes than either the control or the seizure-free groups; the latter two groups did not differ from each other. Both alcoholic groups, however, had white matter volume deficits in the frontal-parietal region. Thus, the seizure group accounted for the white matter volume deficits in the temporal lobe previously reported in the full sample of alcoholics. It seems, then, that reduced white matter volume in the temporal lobes may be either a risk factor for or sequela of alcohol withdrawal seizures.