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April 1968

Temporal Bone Findings in Alcoholics: Preliminary Report on Chronic Alcoholics

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Otolaryngology Division of the Department of Surgery, and the Alcoholism Division of the Department of Psychiatry, the Downstate Medical Center, State University, Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Wolff is retired.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1968;87(4):350-358. doi:10.1001/archotol.1968.00760060352002

THE Psychiatric Department of the Downstate Medical Center of the State University Medical School at Brooklyn, NY, has instituted a project for the rehabilitation of alcoholics. Since 1959 there has been a clinical study of the nature of alcoholic psychoses, conducted within the Alcoholism Division of the Psychiatric Department.

The manifest loss of equilibrium in alcoholics is common knowledge. Intoxicated persons frequently complain of epistaxis. They also complain of "fullness of the ears." However, evidence gathered from the clinical study shows that during acute alcoholic intoxication, not only are there disturbances of gait but also disturbances of the auditory system, including auditory hallucinations. Several cases of reversible sensorineural hearing loss which appear to be related to toxicity have been observed. A high incidence of tinnitus has also been reported. This is transient and apparently associated with the peak of toxicity. There were indications that a specific toxic effect had occurred

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