Korean J Fam Med.  2010 Sep;31(9):711-715. 10.4082/kjfm.2010.31.9.711.

A Case of Severe Brain Atrophy Found in the Man in His Twenties Who Drinks Moderate Amount of Alcohol

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea. fmcjs@naver.com

Abstract

Brain atrophy is caused by the neuronal loss and reduction in Betz cell numbers. Among the many causes of brain atrophy, alcohol related atrophy is largely accounted for by a reduction in white matter volume. And the degree of brain atrophy correlates with the rate and amount of alcohol consumed over a lifetime, and it is at least partially reversible with alcohol abstinence. Alcohol-related brain damage mechanism correlates with that ethanol selectively and potently inhibits the function of NMDA receptors. Chronic alcoholics often have a low intake of folate, hence a sustained hyperhomocystenemia can frequently be observed, then this cause a pathological increase in receptor activity and subsequent excitotoxic damage. Even the consumption of light and moderate doses of alcohol lead to shrinkage of the brain and to increases in white matter volume and decrease in grey matter volume. We report the case of severe brain atrophy incidentally found at medical check-up in a young man who has drunken alcohol too much for 10 years.

Keyword

Brain Atrophy; Alcohol; NMDA Receptor

MeSH Terms

Alcoholics
Atrophy
Brain
Cell Count
Ethanol
Folic Acid
Humans
Light
Neurons
Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
Ethanol
Folic Acid
Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
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