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September 1956

Effects of Methyl Alcohol on Cerebral Blood How and Metabolism: Observations During and After Acute Intoxication

Author Affiliations

Augusta, Ga.; Richmond, Va.; Durham, N. C.

From the Departments of Physiology and Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, and Medical Service of Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta. Present addresses: 1407 Gwinnett St., Augusta, Ga. (Dr. Battey); Department of Medicine, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Va. (Dr. Patterson); Department of Neurology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N. C. (Dr. Heyman).

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;76(3):252-256. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330270024004

Methyl alcohol and its toxic metabolic products exert their severest and most destructive effects upon the structure and function of nerve tissue. Depression or derangement of cerebral function is present to some degree in almost every patient with methanol intoxication, with symptoms ranging from headache and confusion to profound coma.* Impairment of optic nerve function is also commonly found, manifested by disturbances varying from transient amblyopia to permanent and total blindness.

Heretofore, observations on the physiological abnormalities produced in the brain by methyl alcohol have been limited to studies on experimental animals. The 1951 outbreak of methanol poisoning in Atlanta provided an opportunity for the measurement of the cerebral blood flow and oxygen consumption in several of these patients. This paper reports the findings in five cases during or soon after the acute phase of the disorder and includes follow-up studies on four of these persons.

Material and Methods  Full

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