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Indian J Clin Biochem. 2008 Apr;23(2):150-3. doi: 10.1007/s12291-008-0033-3. Epub 2008 Jun 11.

Association of hyperhomocysteinemia to alcohol withdrawal in chronic alcoholics.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences, Narketpally, Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh 508254 India ; Department of Deaddiction center for substance abuse, Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences, Narketpally, Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh India.


This study is conducted in chronic alcoholics to assess the association of an Individual's level of serum homocysteine with the success of achieving alcohol deaddiction in the patient. The patients' nutrition status is also assessed. 50 chronic alcoholics admitted to a deaddiction center were inducted into the study. Patients underwent an 8 weeks holistic program to promote rehabilitation from alcoholism. All the patients were addicted to alcohol for 8 - 10 years. Of the 50 patients enrolled, 39 of them completed the 8 weeks program including complete abstinence from alcohol during this period. Fasting blood samples were collected on admission and again after 8 weeks of alcohol abstinence for analyses of serum homocysteine and serum prealbumin, transferrin, total proteins and albumin, gammaglutamyl transferase (GGT) and alanine transaminase (ALT). Of the 50 patients enrolled in the study, 39 completed the 8 weeks rehabilitation program. 11 patients discontinued within 2 weeks of admission. During the 8 weeks of complete alcohol abstinence, patients were given a balanced diet and multivitamin supplements. A significant improvement in their nutritional status was noted by the elevation of serum levels of prealbumin, transferrin, total proteins and albumin. Serum homocysteine levels decreased significantly (p<0.002) to normal levels from previous hyperhomocytenemia. This was accompanied by decrease in serum GGT and ALT levels indicating improved liver functions. Serum estimation of homocysteine in chronic alcoholics is important to assess whether the patient will have a successful rehabilitation. Normal homocysteine levels are achieved after dietary changes and abstinence from alcohol. Timely correction of hyperhomocysteinemia also provides successful rehabilitation.


Chronic alcoholics; Homocysten; Liver enzymes; Transferrin

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