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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2010 Apr;7(4):1540-57. doi: 10.3390/ijerph7041540. Epub 2010 Apr 4.

Ethanol and cognition: indirect effects, neurotoxicity and neuroprotection: a review.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Harlem Hospital Center and Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY 10037, USA. jcb2@columbia.edu

Abstract

Ethanol affects cognition in a number of ways. Indirect effects include intoxication, withdrawal, brain trauma, central nervous system infection, hypoglycemia, hepatic failure, and Marchiafava-Bignami disease. Nutritional deficiency can cause pellagra and Wernicke-Korsakoff disorder. Additionally, ethanol is a direct neurotoxin and in sufficient dosage can cause lasting dementia. However, ethanol also has neuroprotectant properties and in low-to-moderate dosage reduces the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer type. In fetuses ethanol is teratogenic, and whether there exists a safe dose during pregnancy is uncertain and controversial.

KEYWORDS:

Wernicke-Korsakoff; alcoholic dementia; glutamate

PMID:
20617045
PMCID:
PMC2872345
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph7041540
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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