The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of alcohol on hemodynamic changes induced by visual stimulation. Ten healthy human subjects were examined using Optical Topography® (Hitachi Medical Corporation: ETG-100). Each subject gradually drank 0.4 ml/kg alcohol over 10 min. Changes in oxy-hemoglobin (Hb), deoxy-Hb and total-Hb concentration were measured five times: 20 min before alcohol intake, immediately after alcohol intake, and at 20, 40 and 60 min after alcohol intake. A questionnaire was used to assess subjective feelings of alcohol. Blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) was estimated from ethanol concentration in expired air four times: immediately after alcohol intake and at 20, 40 and 60 min after alcohol intake. The visual stimulation tool was a checkerboard. It showed alternations of black and red patterns at a frequency of 8 Hz. The stimulus was displayed for 10 s after a rest of 30 s. The stimulus was repeated 10 times. Oxy-Hb concentration increased and deoxy-Hb concentration decreased during visual stimulation before and after alcohol intake, despite changes in the score of subjective feelings of alcohol and BAC. Alcohol intake does not significantly affect hemodynamic changes caused by visual stimulation in the visual cortex.
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