» » »

Alcohol's Affect on Brain Function Cary NC

Researchers used functional MRI to monitor brain activity in 15 abstinent long-term alcoholics while they looked at images of faces with positive or negative emotional expressions. The brain scans revealed decreased activation in the amygdala and hippocampus, regions of the brain used for processing facial emotions.

Mohammad Fahim-danish LaTeef
(919) 859-5565
200 Keisler Dr
Cary, NC
Specialty
Psychiatry

Data Provided by:
Triangle ACT
(919) 465-2550
103 Brady CT
Cary, NC
Industry
Mental Health Professional

Data Provided by:
Seth Edward Tabb
(919) 233-4131
104 Fountain Brook Cir Ste A
Cary, NC
Specialty
Child Psychiatry

Data Provided by:
Preferred Alternative Inc
(919) 468-6400
118 Mackenan Dr
Cary, NC
Industry
Mental Health Professional

Data Provided by:
Don Fernando Azevedo
(919) 387-3475
111 Greenhaven Lane
Cary, NC
Services
Individual Psychotherapy, Couples Psychotherapy, Family Psychotherapy, PostTraumatic Stress Disorder or Acute Trauma Reaction
Ages Served
Adults (18-64 yrs.)
Adolescents (13-17 yrs.)
Older adults (65 yrs. or older)
Education Info
Doctoral Program: University of Tennessee
Credentialed Since: 1991-08-09

Data Provided by:
Mark Alan Moffet
(919) 233-4131
104 Fountain Brook Cir Ste A
Cary, NC
Specialty
Child Psychiatry

Data Provided by:
Alexander Susan Brady Phd
(919) 460-1414
1145 Executive Cir Ste C
Cary, NC
Industry
Mental Health Professional, Psychologist

Data Provided by:
Davis Doug Psyd
(919) 481-9012
1340 SE Maynard Rd
Cary, NC
Industry
Mental Health Professional, Psychologist

Data Provided by:
Roger B. Moore
(919) 852-0799
301-F Keisler Drive
Cary, NC
Services
Anxiety Disorder (e.g., generalized anxiety, phobia, panic or obsessive-compulsive disorder), Psychological Assessment, Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy, Stress Management or Pain Management, Forensic Evaluation (e.g., mental competency evaluation)
Ages Served
Adults (18-64 yrs.)
Adolescents (13-17 yrs.)
Education Info
Doctoral Program: George Mason University
Credentialed Since: 1995-01-09

Data Provided by:
Active Counseling
(919) 467-2876
1145 Executive Cir Ste A
Cary, NC
Industry
Mental Health Professional, Psychologist

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

Alcohol's Affect on Brain Function

Provided By:

Heavy drinking can affect the ability to recognize other people's facial emotions, a new study has found.

Researchers used functional MRI to monitor brain activity in 15 abstinent long-term alcoholics while they looked at images of faces with positive or negative emotional expressions. The brain scans revealed decreased activation in the amygdala and hippocampus, regions of the brain used for processing facial emotions.

The inability to judge emotional expressions "can result in miscommunication during emotionally charged situations and lead to unnecessary conflicts and difficulties in interpersonal relationships. The resulting negative repercussions can, in turn, contribute to increased drinking," study author Ksenija Marinkovic, an assistant professor in residence in the radiology department at the University of California, San Diego, said in a news release from Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, which is publishing the findings online and in its November print issue.

The study also found that the brains of the alcoholics recruited the prefrontal cortex while processing facial emotions, perhaps compensating for the reduced activation of the amygdala and hippocampus.

Previous studies found that reduced amygdala activity occurs in psychopaths and in people with a family history of alcoholism.

"Amygdala hypoactivity may underlie emotional dysfunction in chronic alcoholics ... and be part of a wide array of behavioral problems, including disinhibition and disregard for social norms," Marinkovic said.

"Viewed in their totality, these results show that not all facial expressions are necessarily perceived the same by everyone, and that alcoholics may be at a special disadvantage in detecting emotion-filled facial expression, which we all naturally use to convey information, such as warnings, love, anger and defense, among others, and assume that the intended message is accurately perceived," Edith V. Sullivan, professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, said in a news release.

"Whether the differences between controls and alcoholics in brain activation existed before the onset of alcoholism, or are the result of neural circuitry changes or differences in blood perfusion caused by chronic alcohol consumption, intoxication or withdrawal, remain as questions to be answered," Sullivan said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has more about alcoholism.

SOURCE: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, news release, Aug. 11, 2009

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Read Article at HealthDay.com