Imaging of Language-Related Brain Regions in Detoxified Alcoholics
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 2009-06-01; 33(6): 977-984
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1. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2009 Jun;33(6):977-84. doi:
10.1111/j.1530-0277.2009.00918.x. Epub 2009 Mar 25.
Imaging of language-related brain regions in detoxified alcoholics.
Chanraud-Guillermo S(1), Andoh J, Martelli C, Artiges E, Pallier C, Aubin HJ,
Martinot JL, Reynaud M.
(1)INSERM U797 Research Unit, Neuroimaging & Psychiatry, 4 place du Général
Leclerc, Orsay, France.
BACKGROUND: Neuroimaging studies showed clear evidence of alcoholism-related
damage to the frontal lobes and cerebellum. Although these regions have been
involved in language processing, language skills are relatively spared in
alcoholics. Here, we aimed at identifying neural substrates associated with the
preserved mechanisms of language processing in alcoholics. We hypothesized that
alcoholics would show a different pattern of neural activity compared with the
METHODS: Alcoholic and nonalcoholic subjects performed an auditory language task
while receiving a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan in a 1.5 T
magnet. This task has been previously shown to solicit the comprehension
processing in healthy controls, with reliable fMRI response in the left frontal
and temporal/parietal lobes.
RESULTS: Behavioral results showed comparable performance (error rates, response
time) between the alcoholics and the matched controls. However, analysis of the
functional data revealed that the alcoholics exhibited greater fMRI response in
the left middle frontal gyrus (pars triangularis), the right superior frontal
gyrus, and the cerebellar vermis relative to the controls.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that frontocerebellar neural activity,
supporting the comprehension processing of the auditory language task, may
require compensatory mechanisms in alcoholics in order to maintain the same level
of performance as the controls.
PMID: 19382897 [Indexed for MEDLINE]