Functional neuroimaging

Functional imaging studies have shown hypometabolism in the frontal and parietal cortices of chronic alcoholics without major neurological impairment when compared with normal controls/2,2 and 30) These abnormalities improve following abstinence,(3 31) mainly during the 16 to 30 days after the last use of alcohol. Metabolic recovery is most marked in the frontal area.(30)

Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy can be combined with MRI, allowing in vivc insight into brain metabolism/3 33 and 34 The metabolic changes observed in the few magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies that have been carried out suggest neuronal loss and compensatory gliosis.

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