Alcohol has a twofold effect on the nervous system, a direct or primary, and an indirect or secondary. Either of these may act physiologically, i. e., functionally, or pathologically, i. e., structurally. Either may and does unfold its force upon every part of the nervous system, brain, cord, and peripheral nerves; in fact on every organ and tissue of the body, notably upon the blood-vessels, particularly of the brain, the kidneys and the liver. The subject is too large to render justice to it within the limits of a paper like this, and I shall, therefore, be forced to confine my remarks to a narrow domain.
Upon the nerve tissues alcohol has an acute influence. This can best be studied by experiments on animals, and by the effects shown in fatal poisoning with large amounts of alcohol in persons unused to its influence. Of the ordinary state of acute intoxication,
STERNE AE. EFFECT OF ALCOHOL ON THE NERVOUS SYSTEM, THE MIND AND HEREDITY.. JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(12):788–790. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470120012001d