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Brain damage from alcohol may be reversible

MagazineJanuary 2002 (Vol. 12 Issue 10)Brain damage from alcohol may be reversible

New evidence shows that abstaining from alcohol is good for your brain

New evidence shows that abstaining from alcohol is good for your brain.

US researchers used several brain-imaging techniques to compare the amount of alcohol-related tissue damage in eight heavy drinkers and a group of 12 recovering alcoholics. The recovering alcoholics had not had a drink for two years.

Previous studies have shown that the frontal lobes of the brain are highly susceptible to alcohol-related damage. However, these new findings indicate that this brain area can recover after an average of two years of abstinence.

This suggests that recovering alcoholics can at least partially reverse some of the brain tissue damage that occurs after years of alcohol abuse if they refrain from drinking over the longer term (Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 2001; 25: 1673-82).

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