Neuropathology of Alcohol Abuse

  • Gerhard Freund


The morphologic description of most diseases involving the brain is straightforward. The findings on gross inspection and by light microscopy are readily described and demonstrated using special strains (e.g., Golgi) that make the entire cell and all its processes highly visible. Neurotransmitters and their synthetic and catabolic enzymes can be converted to products that are visible using the light or fluorescence microscope. Radioautography methods enable the investigator to expose tissue sections to chemicals with radioactive markers that concentrate in unique tissues or cells, which can then be visualized as a result of the effect of the radiation on radiosensitive photographic paper. The resolution afforded by the electron microscope also permits visualization of organelles such as mitochondria and the granules containing synaptic transmitters. Using these diverse morphologic techniques, findings can be classified either as specific, unique, and pathognomonic of a particular disease, or as nonspecific and thus shared with other disorders.


Alcohol Abuse Subdural Hematoma Thiamine Deficiency Mammillary Body Chronic Subdural Hematoma 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerhard Freund
    • 1
  1. 1.Veterans Administration Medical Center and Departments of Medicine and NeuroscienceUniversity of Florida College of MedicineGainesvilleUSA

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