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cerebral blood flow question

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Mon Aug 9 23:25:56 EST 1999


In <7okfk9$ulj$1 at nnrp1.deja.com> sfchris at my-deja.com writes: 
>
>Experts, a simple question:
>
>Does brain damage *cause* poor blood flow to the brain or is it only
the
>other way around?
>
>The kind of brain damage I am interested in is that caused by alcohol
>abuse, (not by a blunt trauma to the head).

Too bad.  I do know of some research on impaired autoregulation of
cerebral blood flow after blunt trauma (and perhaps reduced frontal or
basal ganglia flow even after mild injury with no evidenece of
structural damage--rather controversial), but do not know of any in the
case of alcohol abuse.

Or do I?  There have been various studies using rCBF measures or (more
recently) SPECT which tend to show some regional reductions (especially
hypofrontality?) in various conditions--including depression (and
perhaps alcoholism? depression is a commmon comorbidity).  However, is
this reduced flow because of impaired circulation, possibly causing
some brain impairment (with or without structural damage)?  Or is it
reduced flow because of structural brain damage (i.e. actual cell
loss)?  Or is this a functional reduction due to dis-use? (presumably
reversible)

F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
New York Neuropsychology Group



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