Alcohol-induced damage to the CNS

on 28.1.09 with 0 comments

  • Cerebellar degeneration – loss of Purkinje and granular cells from chronic alcohol abuse

  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome

    • Not so much due to alcohol, more due to thiamine deficiency often seen in alcoholics

    • The Wernicke part

      • Opthalmoplegia, nystagmus, ataxia, and mental disturbances, prostration

      • Look for shrunken, discolored mamillary bodies (other periventricular/periaqueductal regions can be affected)

      • Affected regions have neuronal loss, gliosis, and vascular proliferation

    • The Korsakoff part

      • Psychosis and memory disturbances; may be more EtOH-related

      • Lesions localized to dorsal medial thalamic nuclei

  • Variable cerebral atrophy and ventricular dilation

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

    • Leading cause of preventable MR in America

    • 1st few weeks after conception are critical; safe amount of EtOH unknown

    • Kids will have microencephaly, periventricular neurological heteropias, dilated ventricles, and reduced amounts of cerebral white matter

Category: Pathology Notes



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