Morphological alterations in hippocampus after long-term alcohol consumption in mice

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Science  18 Aug 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4356, pp. 646-648
DOI: 10.1126/science.566953


Golgi methods were used to examine the hippocampus of laboratory mice that received alcohol-containing or control diets for 4 months followed by a 2-month alcohol-free period. Long-term alcohol consumption resulted in a significant loss of dendritic spines on hippocampal pyramidal cells and dentate granule cells. This study provides evidence that long-term alcohol consumption, in the absence of malnutrition, produces morphological damage to the central nervous system.