Low doses of alcohol substantially decrease glucose metabolism in the human brain

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NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 02/2006; 29(1):295-301. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.07.004
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ABSTRACT Moderate doses of alcohol decrease glucose metabolism in the human brain, which has been interpreted to reflect alcohol-induced decreases in brain activity. Here, we measure the effects of two relatively low doses of alcohol (0.25 g/kg and 0.5 g/kg, or 5 to 10 mM in total body H2O) on glucose metabolism in the human brain. Twenty healthy control subjects were tested using positron emission tomography (PET) and FDG after placebo and after acute oral administration of either 0.25 g/kg, or 0.5 g/kg of alcohol, administered over 40 min. Both doses of alcohol significantly decreased whole-brain glucose metabolism (10% and 23% respectively). The responses differed between doses; whereas the 0.25 g/kg dose predominantly reduced metabolism in cortical regions, the 0.5 g/kg dose reduced metabolism in cortical as well as subcortical regions (i.e. cerebellum, mesencephalon, basal ganglia and thalamus). These doses of alcohol did not significantly change the scores in cognitive performance, which contrasts with our previous results showing that a 13% reduction in brain metabolism by lorazepam was associated with significant impairment in performance on the same battery of cognitive tests. This seemingly paradoxical finding raises the possibility that the large brain metabolic decrements during alcohol intoxication could reflect a shift in the substrate for energy utilization, particularly in light of new evidence that blood-borne acetate, which is markedly increased during intoxication, is a substrate for energy production by the brain.

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Available from: George Kunos, Sep 29, 2015
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    • "Ethanol has previously been reported to decrease GABA (Gomez et al. 2012) and aspartate levels (Biller et al. 2009) when administered acutely, but there is little data available at concentrations equivalent to the lowest ones used here (0.1 mM). Decreased glucose metabolism in the brain in the presence of ethanol is a consistently reported finding in the literature (Volkow et al. 1990, 2006; Handa et al. 2000) with decreases of up to 30% reported (Volkow et al. 2006) similar to the relative decreases reported here (Fig. 1). The question as to whether this is caused by substitution of glucose as a fuel source by ethanol has been dealt with by the finding that ethanol is not significantly metabolized in the brain (Mukherji et al. 1975; Xiang and Shen 2011) although uptake varies regionally (Li et al. 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Ethanol is a known neuromodulatory agent with reported actions at a range of neurotransmitter receptors. Here, we measured the effect of alcohol on metabolism of [3-(13) C]pyruvate in the adult Guinea pig brain cortical tissue slice and compared the outcomes to those from a library of ligands active in the GABAergic system as well as studying the metabolic fate of [1,2-(13) C]ethanol. Analyses of metabolic profile clusters suggests that the significant reductions in metabolism induced by ethanol (10, 30 and 60 mM) are via action at neurotransmitter receptors, particularly α4β3δ receptors, while very low concentrations of ethanol may produce metabolic responses due to release of GABA via GAT1 and the subsequent interaction of this GABA with local α5- or α1-containing GABA(A)R. There was no measureable metabolism of [1,2-(13) C]ethanol with no significant incorporation of (13) C from [1,2-(13) C]ethanol into any measured metabolite above natural abundance, although there were measurable effects on total metabolite sizes similar to those seen with unlabeled ethanol. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 04/2014; 129:304-314.. DOI:10.1111/jnc.12634 · 4.28 Impact Factor
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    • "Lascala , 2010 ) . Although it is not possible to establish any causal relation due to our cross - sectional study design , it is noteworthy to mention that subtle effects of low alcohol in the brain might be associated to the studied risk behaviors . For example , low doses of alcohol substan - tially decreases glucose metabolism in human brain ( Volkow et al . , 2006 ) and executive functioning ( Domingues et al . , 2009 ) . Also , even subtle alterations in prefrontal cortex ( PFC ) may be associated with disinhibited behavioral responses and deficits in decision - making ( Bechara et al . , 2001 , Fillmore , Blackburn , & Harrison , 2008 ) . Our study found that men are more likely to engage in fo"
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    ABSTRACT: Although there are a large number of studies focused on binge drinking and traffic risk behaviors (TRB), little is known regarding low levels of alcohol consumption and its association to TRB. The aim of this cross-sectional study is to examine the association of low to moderate alcohol intake pattern and TRB in college students in Brazil. 7037 students from a National representative sample were selected under rigorous inclusion criteria. All study participants voluntarily fulfilled a structured, anonymous, and self-questionnaire regarding alcohol and drug use, social-demographic data, and TRB. Alcohol was assessed according to the average number of alcoholic units consumed on standard occasions over the past 12 months. The associations between alcohol intake and TRB were summarized with odds ratio and their confidence interval obtained from logistic regression. Compared with abstainers students who consumed only one alcohol unit had the risk of being a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver increased by almost four times, students who reported using five or more units were increased by almost five times the risk of being involved in a car crash. Compared with students who consumed one alcohol unit, the risk of driving under the influence of alcohol increased four times in students using three alcohol units. Age group, use of illicit drugs, employment status, gender, and marital status significantly influenced occurrence of TRB among college students. Our study highlights the potential detrimental effects of low and moderate pattern of alcohol consumption and its relation to riding with an intoxicated driver and other TRB. These data suggest that targeted interventions should be implemented in order to prevent negative consequences due to alcohol use in this population.
    Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.) 08/2012; 46(7):673-679. DOI:10.1016/j.alcohol.2012.08.002 · 2.01 Impact Factor
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    • "Diffuse decrease in intracranial glucose metabolism may occur in various conditions (14). Organic diseases such as Alzheimer’s dementia and amyloid deposition (15), intracranial infection (16), intracranial atrophy caused by long-standing toxic substances such as alcohol (17), systemic metabolic diseases such as diabetes and resistance to insulin (18) are the common known causes of diffuse decrease in glucose metabolism in the brain. In this case report, the patient did not suffer from any of these diseases and was not on any medications except for an appropriate level of intravenous saline infusion. "
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    ABSTRACT: F-18 FDG PET-CT scanning plays an important role in the management of fever of unknown origin (FUO). Some elderly patients with FUO can be in their terminal stage of life. An elderly woman was referred for a PET-CT scan to find the etiology of FUO. The scan was inconclusive but showed significantly reduced FDG uptake in the brain and heart, despite normal physiological uptake in the liver and bowel. The patient deceased within the hour post scan. Contrary to common belief, we have shown that cerebral glucose metabolism via cerebral perfusion may be compromised before hepatic and bowel perfusion in a dying patient. Conflict of interest:None declared.
    08/2012; 21(2):88-90. DOI:10.4274/Mirt.136
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