Acta Stereologica



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Grethe Badsberg Jensen & Bente Pakkenberg

No neocortical nerve cell loss in brains from chronic alcoholics

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With the development of the new stereological techniques it has now become possible to make a precise and unbiased estimate of the total number of neurons in the complex human neocortex. In a study of 11 chronic alcoholic and 11 control male subjects there was no difference in nerve cell number in the neocortex between the two groups (Badsberg Jensen and Pakkenberg, in press). Macroscopic brain volumes were estimated and two statistically significant differences were found, namely an 11% reduction in the volume/weight ratio of white matter and a 30% reduction in the volume/weight ratio of archicortex in the alcoholics compared to controls. The volume of the ventricles in the alcoholic group was enlarged by 26%, which was not statistically significant. There was no difference in the volumes of the neocortices.

Keywords : alcoholics, brain cortex, Cavalieri, neurons, optical disector

To cite this article

Grethe Badsberg Jensen & Bente Pakkenberg, «No neocortical nerve cell loss in brains from chronic alcoholics», Acta Stereologica [En ligne], Volume 12 (1993), Number 2 - Proceedings of the sixth European congress for stereology - Part one - Dec. 1993, 317-320 URL :

About: Grethe Badsberg Jensen

Neurological Research Laboratory, Bartholin Instituttet, Kommunehospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark

About: Bente Pakkenberg

Stereological Research Laboratory, Aarhus University, Denmark