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Alcohol Res Health. 2003;27(2):181-5.

Male and female sensitivity to alcohol-induced brain damage.

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  • 1Section of Brain Electrophysiology and Imaging, Laboratory of Clinical Studies, Division of Intramural Clinical and Biological Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Women are more vulnerable than men to many of the medical consequences of alcohol use. Although research has shown that male alcoholics generally have smaller brain volumes than nonalcoholic males, the few studies that have compared brain structure in alcoholic men and women have had mixed results. To adequately compare brain damage between alcoholic women and men, it is necessary to control for age and to have separate control groups of nonalcoholic men and women. Although the majority of studies suggest that women are more vulnerable to alcohol-induced brain damage than men, the evidence remains inconclusive.

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