Alcoholics with cirrhosis (scarring and dysfunction) of the liver have more brain function impairment than other alcoholics, according to new research. Researchers examined gene expression in the frontal cortex of the brains of seven alcoholics with cirrhosis and 14 alcoholics without cirrhosis. "We found that the levels of many important brain genes changed in the cirrhotic patients. These genes are important in regulating cell death and how individual cells in the brain talk to each other in a meaningful way," study corresponding author R. Dayne Mayfield, a research scientist at the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research at the University of Texas at Austin, said in a prepared statement. Out of a total of 1,125 genes, 482 genes showed increased expression, and 643 genes showed decreased expression in the brain tissue of those with cirrhosis. Mayfield said that the genes examined in this study "are responsible for proper connections and communication between cells in the brain. Without them, normal function would not be possible."
The Washington Post
Alcoholics With Cirrhosis Have More Brain Damage