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Alcohol Alcohol. 1990;25(5):445-8.

The effects of alcohol on the female brain: a neuropathological study.

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Department of Pathology, University of Sydney, Australia.


This quantitative neuropathological study compared the brains of seventeen alcoholic females with twenty non-alcoholic female controls. There was a significant (P less than 0.001) increase in the pericerebral space value (control 9.5; alcoholic 16.3) indicating shrinkage of the brain. Cerebral grey and white matter volumes were determined morphometrically. There was a significant decrease in the cerebral white matter volume (P less than .02) in the alcoholics. The cerebral grey matter volume was unchanged. These changes parallel those described previously in male alcoholics. Further studies will be necessary to establish the relative severity of the brain damage in males and females.

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