Document Detail

No changes in neocortical cell volumes or glial cell numbers in chronic alcoholic subjects compared to control subjects.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17341513     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
AIMS: To study if the total glial cell population in the neocortex is intact in subjects with a history of severe alcohol abuse compared to control subjects. Further, to investigate whether the cortical nerve cell nuclei and nerve cell perikarya volumes are the same in chronic alcoholic subjects as in the control subjects. METHODS: Using the stereological method, the optical rotator in a vertical design, the perikaryon cell volume and nuclei cell volume in the neocortex and its four subdivisions were studied in 11 alcoholics and 10 control subjects. Using the Cavalieri estimator of volumes and the optical disector for cell counting, we estimated the total number of glial cells in the neocortex and compared previous stereological results for chronic alcoholic subjects. RESULTS: We found the mean neuronal cell volumes to be unaffected by severe alcohol abuse (p = 0.84) and a normal total number of glial cells (p = 0.39) in chronic alcoholic subjects compared to control subjects. CONCLUSION: Only glial cells and dendritic/synaptic changes have so far been reported in stereological studies of the brains of alcoholic subjects. We thus have increasing evidence that it may be possible for some individuals to return to their previous cognitive abilities after cessation of alcohol which may give hope and encouragement for chronic alcoholic subjects to stop the abuse.
Katrine Fabricius; Henning Pakkenberg; Bente Pakkenberg
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2007-03-06
Journal Detail:
Title:  Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire)     Volume:  42     ISSN:  0735-0414     ISO Abbreviation:  Alcohol Alcohol.     Publication Date:    2007 Sep-Oct
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-10-15     Completed Date:  2008-01-02     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8310684     Medline TA:  Alcohol Alcohol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  400-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Research Laboratory for Stereology and Neuroscience, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Bispebjerg Bakke 23, Copenhagen NV, Denmark.
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MeSH Terms
Alcoholism / pathology*
Cell Count
Cell Size / drug effects
Cytological Techniques
Middle Aged
Neocortex / cytology,  drug effects,  pathology*
Neuroglia / drug effects,  physiology*,  ultrastructure

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