A Great and Growing Evil?: The Medical Effects of Alcohol by Royal College of Physicians

By Royal College of Physicians

This new document indicates that no procedure within the physique is proof against alcohol. It discusses the position of the clinical occupation in identity and therapy of alcohol difficulties and indicates methods of enforcing more advantageous prevention.

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1981) Alcohol and Alcoholism: the Relation Between Consumption and Damage. British Medical Journal 282:895–98. A. H. (1977) Three Centuries of Alcohol in the British Diet. Nature 270:567–72. E. (1984) The Beneficial Consequence of the United Kingdom’s Declining Per Capita Consumption of Alcohol in 1979–82. Alcohol and Alcoholism 19:271–76. M. (1980) Drinking in Ireland. Dublin: Dublin Economic and Social Research Institute. Donnan, S. and Haskey, J. (1977) Alcoholism and Cirrhosis of the Liver.

And Lederer, H. (1941) ‘Adaptation’ of Central Nervous System to Varying Concentrations of Alcohol in Blood. Journal of the Study of Alcohol 2:35–45. J. (1975) Acute Tolerance to Ethanol in the Rat. Psychopharmacologia 41:43–6. B. (1969) Alcoholic Blackouts: a Review and Clinical Study of 100 Alcoholics. American Journal of Psychiatry 126:191–98. Victor, M. D. (1953) The Effect of Alcohol on the Nervous System. In Metabolic and Toxic Diseases of the Nervous System. Research Publications of the Association for Research into Nervous and Mental Disorders 32:526–73.

The most common biochemical abnormalities are increased values of the serum enzymes, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT); abnormally large red blood cells (macrocytes) are usually present. Liver biopsy shows mild to severe fat accumulation in the liver cell. 4 The cell destruction observed in the liver when this lesion is present may play an important role in the development of cirrhosis. However, in 52 per cent of patients, alcoholic hepatitis persists unchanged for several years and in 10 per cent it may heal despite continued alcohol abuse,5 suggesting that other mechanisms play an important role in the progression of the liver injury.

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