Morphometry of the corpus callosum and mammillary bodies in alcoholism using magnetic resonance

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Elba Beatriz Tornese & Martín Javier Mazzoglio y Nabar


Brain morphological abnormalities in individuals with severe chronic alcoholism explains the severe neurocognitive disorders, namely neuropsychiatric and anterograde amnesia, due to the neurotoxic nature and nutritional deficits generated. The objective of the present study was to describe in alcohol dependent subjects, the morphology of the corpus callosum and mammillary bodies and volume ratio in other brain areas. We used morphological and morphometric magnetic resonance imaging to study the brains of 26 men, ages 29-51 years diagnosed with alcohol dependence type disorder (DSM IV). Exclusion criteria were: liver diseases, autoimmune and central neurological disorders, as well as a neurological history not related to consumption, prior traumatic brain injury or brain surgery. Volumes were quantified by (ROI method) for the following: prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdaloid body, thalamus and mammillary bodies, and the two- dimensional morphometry of corpus callosum regions (Witelson and Clarke methods). The procedure was subject to statistical tests and current legal ethical standards. Our results showed all patients dependent volumes were lower. In accordance with severity, significant volume reduction was recorded in prefrontal cortex, mammillary body, left hippocampus and thalamus, followed by the right amygdaloid body. The most affected area of the corpus callosum was the anterior third. Correlations were determined between the involvement of the mammillary bodies and the corpus callosum with subcortical structures. The relation of the corpus callosum and mammillary bodies correlated with the involvement of the hippocampus, amygdala and thalamus body, and are closely related to the amount of time and consumption of alcohol. These morphometric changes are indicative of severe cognitive and behavioral impairment.

KEY WORDS: Morphometry; Corpus callosum; Mammillary bodies; Alcoholism.

How to cite this article

TORNESE E. B. & MAZZOGLIO Y NABAR, M. J. Morphometry of the corpus callosum and mammillary bodies in alcoholism using magnetic resonance. Int. J. Morphol., 31(4):1233-1242, 2013.