Exp Neurobiol.  2016 Dec;25(6):333-341. 10.5607/en.2016.25.6.333.

Prefrontal Cortical Thickness Deficit in Detoxified Alcohol-dependent Patients

  • 1Industry Academic Cooperation Foundation, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Korea.
  • 2Ewha Brain Institute, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Korea. kjieun@ewha.ac.kr
  • 3Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Korea.
  • 4Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hallym University Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul 07247, Korea.
  • 5The Brain Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA.
  • 6Department of Radiology, Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, Seoul 03760, Korea.
  • 7College of Pharmacy, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Korea.
  • 8Department of Psychiatry, Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul 07441, Korea. ihngeun@hallym.or.kr


Alcohol dependence is a serious disorder that can be related with a number of potential health-related and social consequences. Cortical thickness measurements would provide important information on the cortical structural alterations in patients with alcohol dependence. Twenty-one patients with alcohol dependence and 22 healthy comparison subjects have been recruited and underwent high-resolution brain magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and clinical assessments. T1-weighted MR images were analyzed using the cortical thickness analysis program. Significantly thinner cortical thickness in patients with alcohol dependence than healthy comparison subjects was noted in the left superior frontal cortical region, correcting for multiple comparisons and adjusting with age and hemispheric average cortical thickness. There was a significant association between thickness in the cluster of the left superior frontal cortex and the duration of alcohol use. The prefrontal cortical region may particularly be vulnerable to chronic alcohol exposure. It is also possible that the pre-existing deficit in this region may have rendered individuals more susceptible to alcohol dependence.


Alcoholism; Cerebral Cortex; Frontal Lobe; Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MeSH Terms

Cerebral Cortex
Frontal Lobe
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
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