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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1540-1557; doi:10.3390/ijerph7041540
Review

Ethanol and Cognition: Indirect Effects, Neurotoxicity and Neuroprotection: A Review

Received: 8 February 2010 / Accepted: 1 April 2010 / Published: 4 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
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Abstract

Ethanol affects cognition in a number of ways. Indirect effects include intoxication, withdrawal, brain trauma, central nervous system infection, hypoglycemia, hepatic failure, and Marchiafava-Bignami disease. Nutritional deficiency can cause pellagra and Wernicke-Korsakoff disorder. Additionally, ethanol is a direct neurotoxin and in sufficient dosage can cause lasting dementia. However, ethanol also has neuroprotectant properties and in low-to-moderate dosage reduces the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer type. In fetuses ethanol is teratogenic, and whether there exists a safe dose during pregnancy is uncertain and controversial.
Keywords: Wernicke-Korsakoff; alcoholic dementia; glutamate Wernicke-Korsakoff; alcoholic dementia; glutamate
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Brust, J.C. Ethanol and Cognition: Indirect Effects, Neurotoxicity and Neuroprotection: A Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 1540-1557.

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