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The effect of binge drinking on the corpus callosum. (Medical Science and Health Poster Session 09:00 AM-10:00 AM).

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The corpus callosum is white matter that bridges the two brain hemispheres. Chronic male and female alcoholics show a decrease in the volume of the corpus callosum, which can lead to neuropsychological dysfunction. The hypothesis is that binge drinking, without chronic alcoholism, decreases the volume of women's corpus callosum. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) study was performed on eight females who binge drank (consumed 3 or more drinks per session) at least once a week and eight control subjects who consumed less than one alcoholic beverage per month. All 16 participants were between the ages of 20 and 29. Those women who had experimented with hard illicit drugs or had smoked more than 50 joints in their lifetime were eliminated. 3D Brain Station was used to trace MRIs taken of each participant's brain to determine the volume of their corpus callosum. There was no significant difference between the groups for age, pack years of cigarettes smoked, total joints of marijuana smoked, or race (p > 0.3 for each). Univariate analysis showed no significant difference between volume of the corpus callosum in the experimental and control groups (p=0.773). The conflicting results between our research and previous studies may be due to our subjects not bingeing over a long enough period or not experiencing the thiamine deficiency that many chronic alcoholics suffer due to a deficient diet to fully demonstrate alcohol's detrimental effect on the corpus callosum.

REBECCA L. WILSON S03.RWILSON@WITTENBERG.EDU, ANDREW M. PRETORIUS, CATHY L. PEDERSON CPEDERSON@WITTENBERG.EDU, WITTENBERG UNIVERSITY, DEPT OF BIOLOGY, SPRINGFIELD OH 45501
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Author:Wilson, Rebecca L.; Pretorius, Andrew M.; Pederson, Cathy L.
Publication:The Ohio Journal of Science
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Words:263
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