Cortical Volume Deficit Exacerbated in Patients With HCV

Alcohol-dependent patients with hepatitis C virus comorbidity found to have greater deficits in the frontal, precentral, superior, and orbital volumes.

Cortical volume deficit in adults with alcohol dependence is accelerated by drug dependence or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection comorbidity, according to a new study.

A team of California-based researchers conducted a cross-sectional, longitudinal study of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from April 2003 to March 2017. The 826 structural MRI images were collected for 421 participants — 222 being individuals with alcohol dependence, and 199 being age-controlled matches, parcellated with a common atlas, and adjusted for brain volume.

Of the participants, longitudinal data were available on 116 participants with alcohol dependence and 96 control participants. Researchers were gauging the prevalence of comorbidities such as drug dependence and HCV infection with cortical volume deficit in patients with and without alcohol dependence. They noted that it’s been established through previous documented neuroimaging and postmortem analysis that chronic alcohol consumption can cause brain shrinkage.

A new assessment of the association between alcoholism and brain structure is emphasized by current data indicating a major increase of 106.7% in alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the US population aged 65 years or older. Such an increase would affect 3.1% of that population.

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