A comparative histochemical and biochemical study of the anterior tibial muscle of 10 alcoholics suggests that neuropathy could be the cause of chronic muscle weakness and wasting. Myopathic changes did not predominate in the findings. It is concluded that the proximal muscle atrophy could also be attributed to neurogenic damage. Histochemical reactions in muscle specimens show a selective type 2 atrophy and a slight increase in the mean diameter of type 1 fibres. Biochemical investigations reveal that the activities of a number of enzymes representative of energy supplying pathways--the glycogenolysis and glycolysis--as well as acid phosphatase activity in the muscle is lowered. Oxidative enzymes are of similar activity in the alcoholics and the control group. The glycolytic enzyme activity is particularly important, being the most sensitive indicators of the onset, intensity, and course of neurogenic damage.