Impact of alcohol consumption in healthy adults: A magnetic resonance imaging investigation

Antonio Preti, Cristina Muscio, Marina Boccardi, Marco Lorenzi, Giovanni de Girolamo, Giovanni Frisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The impact of alcohol on brain morphology was studied in a large group of cognitively intact people whose consumption of alcohol was below the threshold for abuse. Participants were 367 healthy subjects, aged 18 years or older, who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for reasons other than cognitive impairment. MRI analyses were carried out using SPM8 software on the MATLAB 7.9 platform. Gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volumes were normalized for intracranial volume. Participants were interviewed about their lifetime consumption of alcohol, nicotine and other available illicit substances. Direct WM and GM comparisons between alcohol users and non-users did not detect significant differences. Differences also did not emerge from multiple regression analyses or in the subgroup aged 65 or older. Based on this study's findings, we cannot infer a detrimental effect of alcohol on the brain of normal adults. These data may be considered to provide reference information for clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-103
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 30 2014


  • Alcohol consumption
  • Brain volumes
  • MRI
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of alcohol consumption in healthy adults: A magnetic resonance imaging investigation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this