Postmortem Analysis of Neuron Distributions in the Locus Coeruleus of Alcoholics and Suicidal Victims

Donna K. Pauler


We investigate neuron distribution and morphology of the human locus coeruleus (LC) in four groups of subjects: controls, suicidal non-alcoholics, non-suicidal alcoholics, and suicidal alcoholics. The data consist of postmortem neuron measurements, counts, and spatial coordinates from the brainstem LC of 32 subjects. These measurements were collected by Dr. Victoria Arango and Dr. Mark Underwood of the Laboratories of Neuropharmacology at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh. The analysis consists of three parts: a quantification of group effects on neuron size and shape, a quantification of group effects on total neuron count, and a study of the spatial distribution of neurons within the LC.

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