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  • 1 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Semmelweis University Alkotás u. 44, H-1123 Budapest, Hungary
  • 2 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Semmelweis University Alkotás u. 44, H-1123 Budapest, Hungary
  • 3 Bács-Kiskun County Hospital Kecskemét, Hungary
  • 4 Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Silver Spring, MD, USA
  • 5 Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Silver Spring, MD, USA
  • 6 Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Silver Spring, MD, USA
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Despite recent evidence of the beneficial effects of moderate alcohol consumption in arteriosclerosis prevention, the neurotoxic effects of alcohol abuse are well known. Our hypothesis was that uncontrolled alcohol consumption may cause cerebrovascular damage detectable by rheoencepholography (REG), a noninvasive bio-impedance technique for estimating cerebral blood flow. Test subjects were 48 alcoholic patients in Hungary; the control group consisted of 12 drug-addicted and depressed patients in Hungary and 13 healthy male subjects in the United States. Additional subgroups were formed according to smoking habits and average daily alcohol dose. REG was measured by a computer-based system, “Cerberus”; REG anacrotic time above 180 ms was considered pathological. ANOVA showed that daily alcohol consumption and smoking were significantly higher in alcoholics than in drug-addicted and depressed patients. Twelve alcoholics showed a pathological REG anacrotic time. Longer REG anacrotic time was correlated with higher daily alcohol consumption. In the alcoholic group, the steeper regression line of REG slope reflected the pathological impact of alcohol abuse. The healthy control sample showed a nearly identical slope for both REG and age. The correlation of increased REG anacrotic time and daily alcohol consumption supports the hypothesis that REG detects accelerated cerebrovascular aging (arteriosclerosis) in alcoholic subjects.

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