4.0 T water proton T1 relaxation times in normal human brain and during acute ethanol intoxication

William D. Rooney, Jing Huei Lee, Xin Li, Gene Jack Wang, Dinko Franceschi, Charles S. Springer, Nora D. Volkow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: It has been reported that acute ethanol intoxication decreases the brain water proton magnetic resonance T1 values, an effect that has been interpreted to indicate brain dehydration during this condition. Because water macromolecular interactions largely determine tissue water T1, another possible explanation for reduced brain water proton T1 values is that the interaction between water and brain macromolecules is altered by ethanol. Methods: A 4.0 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) instrument was used to measure brain water proton T1 relaxation times before, during, and after ethanol intoxication (dose, 0.75 mg/kg) in healthy controls. Results: The T1 relaxation times as assessed with MRI were highly reproducible. The mean, paired ethanol-induced differences in T1 were -0.004 ± 0.007 sec (mean ± standard deviation) for white matter and 0.010 ± 0.015 sec for internal gray matter structures, neither of which was significant. Conclusions: This reasonably sensitive measurement does not support the view that tissue water content or water macromolecule interactions are significantly altered in the brain during acute alcohol intoxication in otherwise healthy subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)830-836
Number of pages7
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute Alcohol Intoxication
  • Brain Water
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • T Relaxation Time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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