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Séminaire impromptu - Dolf Pfefferbaum "Alcoholism and the Brain: From Rats to Humans."

Abstract :

 Alcoholism follows
a dynamic course, involving development, maintenance, recovery, and relapse. In vivo brain imaging studies have enabled the tracking of this course and have revealed evidence for disruption of selective macrostructural and microstructural brain tissue systems in Alcohol Use Disorders with evidence for improvement with sustained sobriety. Features of brain dysmorphology have been modeled in rodents under controlled conditions exposed to high levels of alcohol with reversal of damage after a week free of alcohol. These studies demonstrate the strength of longitudinal studies using noninvasive MR imaging. (Support: AA05965, AA013521, AA017923, AA021697)

Selected publications

Sullivan, E. V., Zahr, N. M., Rohlfing, T., & Pfefferbaum, A. (2015). Cognitive demands during quiet standing elicit truncal tremor in two frequency bands: Differential relations to tissue integrity of corticospinal tracts and cortical targets. Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, 9, 175. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00175 

Cui, C., Noronha, A., Warren, K. R., Koob, G. F., Sinha, R., Thakkar, M., . . . Sullivan, E. V. (2015). Brain pathways to recovery from alcohol dependence. Alcohol, 49(5), 435-452. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2015.04.006

The Role of Aging, Drug Dependence, and Hepatitis C Comorbidity in Alcoholism Cortical Compromise. 
Sullivan EV, Zahr NM, Sassoon SA, Thompson WK, Kwon D, Pohl KM, Pfefferbaum A. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018 May

Neurological, nutritional and alcohol consumption factors underlie cognitive and motor deficits in chronic alcoholism.Fama R, Le Berre AP, Hardcastle C, Sassoon SA, Pfefferbaum A, Sullivan EV, Zahr NM. Addict Biol. 2017 Dec 15.


Scientific focus :

Dolf Pfefferbaum, M.D., has been at the forefront of neuroimaging and electrophysiological research in normal aging and neuropsychiatric disorders for more than three decades. At SRI, he has focused on devising novel approaches for quantitative neuroimaging data to yield measures of brain structures and tissue composition (using magnetic resonance imaging, MRI), microstructure (MR diffusion tensor imaging, DTI), chemistry (magnetic resonance spectroscopy), and function (functional MRI) in the living human. Pfefferbaum is a principal investigator in the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA). His research in chronic alcoholism has enabled detection of alcoholism's dynamic course, through drinking, sobriety, and relapse, and has demonstrated an increased vulnerability of the aging brain to excessive drinking. Recently, he has implemented neuroimaging methods to parallel human conditions in animal models to identify mechanisms of harm with drinking and healing with sobriety.