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Neuronal counts from four cortical regions of alcoholic brains


Neuronal loss from the frontal superior cortex of the brains of alcoholics has recently been documented. In addition to this, a reduction in the mean neuronal area was also seen in the frontal and motor cortices. This suggested a regional specificity of neuronal damage in the brains of alcoholics. Further quantitation of other cortical regions of the same cases as used in the above study has been performed. The frontal cingulate and temporal cortices were examined and there was found to be no significant alteration in the number of neurons when compared to a control population. There was, however, a significant reduction in the mean size of the neuronal soma in the frontal cingulate cortex (P < 0.05). These data support the hypothesis of regional variations in the severity of cerebral cortical damage in alcoholism with shrinkage of neurons in most regions examined but neuronal loss only in the superior frontal gyrus.

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Author information

Correspondence to C. G. Harper.

Additional information

Supported by grants from the National Health & Medical Research Council (No. 870564), the Clive and Vera Ramiacotti Foundations and Sandoz Foundation for Gerontological Research

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Kril, J.J., Harper, C.G. Neuronal counts from four cortical regions of alcoholic brains. Acta Neuropathol 79, 200–204 (1989).

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Key words

  • Alcohol
  • Brain
  • Neuronal counts
  • Human