Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Living Brain

Evidence for Brain Degeneration Among Alcoholics and Recovery With Abstinence

About the Course:

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides a safe, noninvasive method to examine the brain’s macrostructure, microstructure, and some aspects of how the living brain functions. MRI is capable of detecting abnormalities that can occur with alcoholism as well as changes that can occur with sobriety and relapse. The brain pathology associated with chronic excessive alcohol consumption is well documented with imaging of the living body. Some of these changes are reversible with abstinence, but some appear to be enduring. This publication addresses these issues.

Journal/Publisher:

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Publication Date:

Alcohol Research and Health, Volume 21, Number 4, 2008

Authors

Adolf Pfefferbaum, M.D.; Margaret J. Rosenbloom

About the Authors:

Adolf Pfefferbaum, M.D., is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Neuroscience, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, and director of the Neuroscience Program, SRI International, Menlo Park, California.

Margaret J. Rosenbloom is a research scientist with appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, and the Neuroscience Program, SRI International, Menlo Park, California.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially addiction counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about evidence for brain degeneration among alcoholics and recover;y with abstinence. It is appropriate for intermediate to advanced levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) findings from studies comparing alcoholics and non-alcoholics.

  2. Discuss study results regarding the prospects for recovery from brain abnormalities with alcohol abstinence.

  3. Explain what has been learned about the alcoholic brain from in vivo neuroimaging in animal models.

Exam Questions

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