Natalie May Zahr1,2, Dirk Mayer2,3, Torsten Rohlfing2, Michael Hasak2, Oliver Hsu1,2, Shara Vinco2, Juan Orduna2, Edith V. Sullivan1, Adolf Pfefferbaum1,2
1Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA; 2Neuroscience Program, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA, USA; 3Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
The effects of binge ethanol (EtOH) exposure and abstinence on the rodent brain were examined using MR imaging and spectroscopy (MRS). Intragastric EtOH administration (4d) resulted in blood alcohol levels of ~258mg/dL and brain damage detected on FSE images as an increase in lateral ventricular cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) volume. Abstinence (7d) was associated with CSF volume normalization. EtOH exposure was associated with an MRS detectable EtOH peak, a decrease in N-acetyl-aspartate and total creatine, and an increase in choline-containing compounds; metabolite levels returned to baseline with abstinence. These results suggest that binge EtOH exposure can transiently damage the brain.