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The premature aging hypothesis of alcohol dependence proposes that the neurobiological and behavioural deficits in individuals with alcohol dependence are analogous to those of chronological aging. However, to date no systematic neurobiological evidence for this hypothesis has been provided. To test the hypothesis, 119 alcohol-dependent subjects and 97 age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects underwent structural MRI.
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Non-alcohol-dependent heavy drinkers, as well as alcohol-dependent individuals, show brain atrophy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether there are correlations between global and regional gray matter volumes and the lifetime alcohol intake using volumetric analysis and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) among Japanese non-alcohol-dependent male individuals.
High-resolution three-dimensional magnetic resonance images were acquired from 405 Japanese non-alcohol-dependent male individuals.

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Previous and more recent work of analyzing structural changes in the brain suggest that certain brain regions such as the frontal lobe are among the brain regions profoundly affected by the aging process across males and females. Also, a unified model of structural changes in a normally aging brain is still lacking. The present study investigated age-related structural brain changes in gray matter from young to early middle-age adulthood for males and females.

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The aim of this study was to analyze correlations among the annual rate of gray matter volume change, age, gender, and cerebrovascular risk factors in 381 healthy community-dwelling subjects with a large age range by applying a longitudinal design over 6 years using brain magnetic resonance images (MRIs). Brain MRI data were processed with voxel-based morphometry using a custom template by applying diffeomorphic anatomical registration using the exponentiated lie algebra procedure. The annual rate of regional gray matter volume change showed significant positive correlations with age in several regions, including the bilateral temporal pole, caudate nucleus, ventral and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, insula, hippocampus, and temporoparietal cortex, whereas significant negative correlations with age were observed in several regions including the bilateral cingulate gyri and anterior lobe of the cerebellum.

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Structural brain abnormalities in schizophrenia have been repeatedly demonstrated in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies, but it remains unclear whether these are static or progressive in nature. While longitudinal MRI studies have been traditionally used to assess the issue of progression of brain abnormalities in schizophrenia, information from cross-sectional neuroimaging studies directly comparing first-episode and chronic schizophrenia patients to healthy controls may also be useful to further clarify this issue. With the recent interest in multisite mega-analyses combining structural MRI data from multiple centers aiming at increased statistical power, the present multisite voxel-based morphometry (VBM) study was carried out to examine patterns of brain structural changes according to the different stages of illness and to ascertain which (if any) of such structural abnormalities would be specifically correlated to potential clinical moderators, including cumulative exposure to antipsychotics, age of onset, illness duration and overall illness severity.

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