Representative image
Representative image

Alcohol-induced brain damage continues during first weeks of sobriety, points study

ANI | Updated: Apr 07, 2019 17:43 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 7 (ANI): A new study disapproves the belief that the brain starts normalising after you stop consuming alcohol.
The research was published in the journal ‘JAMA Psychiatry’.
A joint work conducted by the Institute of Neuroscience CSIC-UMH in Alicante and the Central Institute of Mental Health of Mannheim, Germany, by means of magnetic resonance, has pointed out how the brain functions during the first weeks of sobriety.
The study was conducted on 90 voluntary patients with an average age of 46 years who were hospitalised because of an alcohol disorder.
To compare the brain magnetic resonances of these patients, a control group without alcohol problems was used, consisting of 36 men with an average age of 41 years.
It noted that even after six weeks of abstinence, the white matter of the brain still changes.
"Until now, nobody could believe that in the absence of alcohol the damage in the brain would progress," said Dr Santiago.
"An important aspect of the work is that the group of patients participating in our research are hospitalized in a detoxification program, and their consumption of addictive substances is controlled, which guarantees that they are not drinking any alcohol. Therefore, the abstinence phase can be followed closely", highlights Dr Canals.
This study was in parallel carried out in a model with Marchigian Sardinian rats with a preference for alcohol which allows monitoring the transition from normal to alcohol dependence in the brain, a process unseen in humans, explained Dr Se Santis.
The observation highlighted that the damages during sobriety affected the right hemisphere and frontal area of the brain.
Thus, it dismissed the traditional belief that abandoning alcohol resumes the brain’s activity to revert to normal. (ANI)