Advertisement

Neurobiological Relationships between Aging and Alcohol Abuse

  • Gerhard Freund

Abstract

Both biological aging and chronic exposure to alcohol may cause impaired learning and memory in man and animals. The chains of processes beginning with molecular changes that in turn alter electrophysiology and morphology and finally culminate in changes of behavior (individual and social) are largely unknown. While these chains originating with molecular events leading to the same behavioral end result may be totally different, they may also overlap at any one of these levels of biological organization, accentuate, attenuate each other, to branch again and to develop parallel to each other. There is currently some evidence from observations in humans and animals that both aging and chronic alcohol toxicity induce the following changes: brain atrophy measured in vivo by computerized tomography, histological loss of the dendritic tree of neurons in various brain regions including hippocampus and cerebellum, and a variety of chemical changes of brain synaptic function, such as loss of benzodiazepine receptors.

Keywords

Alcohol Abuse Thiamine Deficiency Senile Dementia Evoke Potential Chronic Alcohol Consumption 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Freund G: Interactions of aging and chronic alcohol consumption on the central nervous system, in Wood WG, Elias MF (eds): Alcoholism and Aging: Advances in Research. Boca Raton, Florida, CRC Press, 1982, p 131–148.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Katzman R, Terry RD, Bick KL (eds): Alzheimer’s Disease: Senile Dementia and Related Disorders. New York, Raven Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Birren JE, Schaie KW (eds): Handbook of the Psychology of Aging. New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1977.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kubanis P, Zornetzer SF: Age-related behavioral and neurobiological changes: A review with an emphasis on memory. Behav Neural Biol 31:115–172, 1981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cragg BG: The density of synapses and neurons in normal, mentally defective and ageing human brains. Brain 98:81–90, 1975.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Enna SJ, Samorajski T, Beer B (eds): Aging, vol 17, Brain Neurotransmitters and Receptors in Aging and Age-Related Disorders. New York, Raven Press, 1981.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Freund G: Neurotransmitter function in relation to aging and alcoholism, in Hartford J, Samorajski T (eds): Alcoholism in the Elderly. New York, Raven Press p 65–83, 1984.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bartus RT, Dean RL III, Beer B, et al: The cholinergic hypothesis of geriatric memory dysfunction. Science 217:408–417, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Freund G: Chronic central nervous system toxicity of alcohol. Annu Rev Pharmacol 13:217, 1973.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Begleiter H: Brain dysfunction and alcoholism: Problems and prospects. Alcoholism: Clin Exp Res 5:264–266, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wood WG, Elias MF (eds): Alcoholism and Aging: Advances in Research. Boca Raton, Florida, CRC Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Freund G, Butters N (eds): Symposium: Neurobiological interactions between aging and alcohol abuse. Alcoholism: Clin Exp Res 6:1–63, 1982.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hartford J, Samorajski T (eds): Alcoholism in the Elderly. New York, Raven Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cannon WB: Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage. New York, Appleton-Century, 1915.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Elias PK, Elias MF: Effects of age on learning ability: Contributions from the animal literature. Exp Aging Res 2;165–186, 1976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gibson DC, Adelman RC, Finch C (eds): Development of the Rodent as a Model System of Aging, vol II. Washington, DC, DHEW Publication No (NIH 71–161), 1978.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bondareff W: Morphology of the aging nervous system, in Birren JE (ed): Handbook of Aging and the Individual. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1959, pp 136–172.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Freund G: Diseases of the nervous system associated with alcoholism, in Tarter RE, Sugerman AA (eds): Alcoholism: Interdisciplinary Approaches to an Enduring Problem. Reading, Massachusetts, Addison-Wesley, 1976, pp 171–202.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Freund G: Neuropathology of alcohol abuse, in Tarter RE, VanThiel DH (eds): Alcohol and the Brain: Chronic Effects. New York, Plenum Press (in press).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Victor M, Adams RD, Collins GH: The Wernicke-Korsakoff s Syndrome. Philadelphia, FA Davis, 1971.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Freund G: The interaction of chronic alcohol consumption and aging on brain structure and function. Alcoholism: Clin Exp Res 6:13–21, 1982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Walker DW, Hunter BE, Abraham WC: Neuroanatomical and functional deficits subsequent to chronic ethanol administration in animals. Alcoholism: Clin Exp Res 5:267–282, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wilkinson A: Examination of alcoholics by computed tomographic (CT) scans: A critical review. Alcoholism: Clin Exp Res 6:31–45, 1982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Cala LA, Mastaglia FL: Computerized tomography in chronic alcoholics. Alcoholism: Clin Exp Res 5:283–294, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ideström C-M (ed): Alcohol and brain research. Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl 286 62:1–134, 1980.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    DeLeon MJ, Ferris SH, George AE, et al: Computed tomography evaluations of brain-behavior relationships in senile dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. Neurobiol Aging 1:69–79, 1980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Brownell GL, Budinger TF, Lauterbur PC, et al: Positron tomography and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging. Science 215:619–626, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Berglund M: Cerebral blood flow in chronic alcoholics. Alcoholism: Clin Exp Res 5:295–303, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Sokoloff L: Cerebral blood flow and metabolism in the differentiation of dementias: General considerations, in Katzman R, Terry RD, Bick KL (eds): Aging, vol 7, Alzheimer’s Disease: Senile Dementia and Related Disorders. New York, Raven Press, 1978, pp 197–202.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Dayan AD: Quantitative histological studies on the aged human brain. I. Senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in “normal” patients. Acta Neuropathol (Berlin) 16:85–94, 1970.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Dayan AD: Quantitative histological studies on the aged human brain. II. Senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in senile dementia (with an appendix on their occurrence in cases of carcinoma). Acta Neuropathol (Berlin) 16:95–102, 1970.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Blessed G, Tomlinson BE, Roth M: The association between quantitative measures of dementia and senile change in the cerebral grey matter of elderly subjects. J Psychiatry 114:797–311, 1968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Bachrach LL: Educational level of male admissions with alcohol disorders: State and county mental hospitals—1972. NIMH Mental Health Statistical Note, No 123, 1976.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Bachrach LL: Characteristics of diagnosed and missed alcoholic male admissions to state and county mental hospitals—1972. NIMH Mental Health Statistical Note, No 124, 1976.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Courville EG: Effects of Alcohol on the Nervous System of Man. Los Angeles, San Lucas Press, 1955.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Brody H: Cell counts in cerebral cortex and brainstem, in Katzman R, Terry RD, Bick KL (eds): Aging, vol 7, Alzheimer’s Disease: Senile Dementia and Related Disorders. New York, Raven Press, 1978, pp 345–351.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Coleman PD, Goldman G: Neuron counts in locus coeruleus of aging rat, in Enna SJ, Samorajski T, Beer B (eds): Aging, vol 17, Brain Neurotransmitters and Receptors in Aging and Age-Related Disorders. New York, Raven Press, 1981, pp 23–30.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Diamond MC, Connor JR Jr: A search for the potential of the aging brain, in Enna SJ, Samorajski T, Beer B (eds): Aging, vol 7, Brain Neurotransmitters and Receptors in Aging and Age-Related Disorders. New York, Raven Press, 1981, pp 43–58.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Scheibel AB: Structural aspects of the aging brain: Spine system and the dendritic arbor, in Katzman R, Terry RD, Bick KL (eds): Aging, vol 7, Alzheimer’s Disease: Senile Dementia and Related Disorders. New York, Raven Press, 1978, pp 353–373.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Pentney R: Age and ethanol-associated changes in cerebellar Purkinje cells, in Wood WG, Elias MF (eds): Alcoholism and Aging: Advances in Research. Boca Raton, Florida, CRC Press, 1982, pp 149–169.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Freund G: Cholinergic receptor loss in brains of aging mice. Life Sci 26:371–375, 1980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Jarvik LF: Genetic factors and chromosomal aberrations in Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia, and related disorders, in Katzman R, Terry RD, Bick KL (eds): Aging, vol 7, Alzheimer’s Disease: Senile Dementia and Related Disorders. New York, Raven Press, 1978, pp 273–277.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Freund G: The effects of chronic alcohol and vitamin E consumption on aging pigments and learning performance in mice. Life Sci 24:145–152, 1979.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Obrist WD: Electroencephalography in aging and dementia, in Katzman R, Terry RD, Bick KL (eds): Aging, vol 7, Alzheimer’s Disease: Senile Dementia and Related Disorders. New York, Raven Press, 1978, pp 227–232.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Coger RW, Dymond AM, Serafetinides EA, et al: EEG signs of brain impairment in alcoholism. Biol Psychiatry 13:729–739, 1978.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Williams HL, Rundell OH Jr: Altered sleep physiology in chronic alcoholics: Reversal with abstinence. Alcoholism: Clin Exp Res 5:318–325, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Porjesz B, Begleiter H: Human evoked brain potentials and alcohol. Alcoholism: Clin Exp Res 5:304–317, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Porjesz B, Begleiter H: Evoked brain potential deficits in alcoholism and aging. Alcoholism: Clin Exp Res 6:53–63, 1982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Yamamura HI: Neurotransmitter receptor alterations in age-related disorders, in Enna SJ, Samorajski T, Beer B (eds): Aging, vol 17, Brain Neurotransmitters and Receptors in Aging and Age-Related Disorders. New York, Raven Press, 1981, pp 143–147.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Bartus RT, Dean RL III, Beer B, et al: The cholinergic hypothesis of geriatric memory dysfunction. Science 217:408–417, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Kubanis P, Zornetzer SF, Freund G: Memory and postsynaptic cholinergic receptors in aging mice. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 17:331–332, 1982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Tran VT, Snyder SH, Major LF, et al: GABA receptors are increased in brains of alcoholics. Ann Neurol 9:289–292, 1981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Valverius P, Borg S, Fields J, et al: Brain neurotransmitter receptors in alcoholics—a postmortem study. Alcoholism: Clin Exp Res 6:317, 1982 (abstract).Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Roth GS: Steroid and dopaminergic receptors in aged brain, in Enna SJ, Samorajski T, Beer B (eds): Aging, vol 17, Brain Neurotransmitters and Receptors in Aging and Age-Related Disorders. New York, Raven Press, 1981, pp 163–169.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Pelham RW, Marquis JK, Kugelmann K, et al: Prolonged ethanol consumption produces persistent alterations of cholinergic function in rat brain. Alcoholism: Clin Exp Res 4:282–287, 1980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Enna SJ, Strong R: Age-related alterations in central nervous system neurotransmitter receptor binding, in Enna SJ, Samorajski T, Beer B (eds): Aging, vol 17, Brain Neurotransmitters and Receptors in Aging and Age-Related Disorders. New York, Raven Press, 1981, pp 133–142.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Paul SM, Marangos PJ, Skolnick P: The benzodiazepine-GABA-chloride ionophore receptor complex: Common site of minor tranquilizer action. Biol Psychiatry 16:213–229, 1981.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    McGeer EG: Aging and neurotransmitter metabolism in the human brain, in Katzman R, Terry RD, Bick KL (eds): Aging, vol 7, Alzheimer’s Disease: Senile Dementia and Related Disorders. New York, Raven Press, 1978, pp 427–440.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Tallman JF, Paul SM, Skolnick P, et al: Receptors for the age of anxiety: Pharmacology of the benzodiazepines. Science 207:274–281, 1980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Shephard RA, Nielsen EB, Broadhurst PL: Sex and strain differences in benzodiazepine receptor binding in Roman rat strains. Eur J Pharmacol 77:327–330, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Freund G: Benzodiazepine receptor loss in brains of mice after chronic alcohol consumption. Life Sci 27:987–992, 1980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Möhler H, Okada T: The benzodiazepine receptor in normal and pathological human brain. Br J Psychiatry 133:261–268, 1978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerhard Freund
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Veterans Administration Medical CenterGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Medicine and Neuroscience, Alcodol Research Center, College of MedicineUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations