L. G. Costa, G. Giordano, Michael Aschner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Ethanol is widely consumed worldwide. Excessive acute exposure can cause significant adverse central nervous system (CNS) effects, most notably CNS depression. Chronic high level ethanol consumption may cause alcoholism, with physical and psychical dependence. Neurological manifestations of alcoholism include peripheral neuropathy, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, and cerebellar degeneration, which may be due to direct effects of ethanol and/or its metabolite acetaldehyde, or to nutritional deficiencies, particularly of thiamine. Hepatic encephalopathy and alcoholic dementia are the result of direct toxic effects of ethanol in the liver and brain. In utero exposure to ethanol can lead to offspring affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, the most severe of which is the fetal alcohol syndrome; its major features are growth retardation, facial dysmorphisms, microencephaly, and mental retardation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9780123851574
ISBN (Print)9780123851581
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Blood alcohol level
  • CNS depression
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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