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Auditory brain stem potentials in chronic alcohol intoxication and alcohol withdrawal.


Auditory brain stem evoked responses were in unrestrained rats during periods of acute and chronic alcohol intoxication, alcohol withdrawal, and recovery. Acute alcohol administration altered the auditory brain stem potentials by a prolongation of both peak latency and central conduction time, beginning with early peaks. Similar but lesser effects affecting only the latter peaks were observed during chronic alcohol intoxication. By contrast, alcohol withdrawal resulted in a decrease in the peak latencies of auditory brain stem potentials and a facilitation of central conduction time. Recovery of the auditory brain stem potentials to the normal form required at least three to four weeks. The present study provides the first quantitative data, to our knowledge, on manifestations of alcohol tolerance and withdrawal.

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