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Alcohol can harm learning and memory!
June 15, 2005
new study has revealed that continous alcohol consumption for eight weeks can produce deficits in learning and memory.
And the effects can last up to 12 weeks after you stop drinking.
This research was published in the latest issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, and is the first to show that continuous drinking for as little as eight weeks can impair learning and memory.
"The learning and memory deficits we found after eight weeks of alcohol followed by three weeks of withdrawal affect all types of learning and memory," said Susan A Farr, associate professor of medicine at St Louis University School of Medicine, USA.
D Allan Butterfield, Alumni Professor of biological and physical chemistry at the University of Kentucky, said, "Drinking doesn't just produce a hangover. Chronic drinking may lead to permanent cognitive deficits. People should exercise caution against binge drinking since cognitive deficits may ensue."
Researchers fed eight-week old male mice, of two different strains, either an alcohol or sucrose diet for eight weeks, followed by a three-week withdrawal period.
They found consumption durations as short as eight weeks produce deficits twelve weeks after withdrawal.
This also implies that the deficits are permanent and affect all types of learning. They are not related to any nutritional or sensory deficits produced by the alcohol.
"This study demonstrates that the lingering effects of chronic alcohol ingestion are profound. These results, transferable to humans, imply profound deficits in cognition, memory and learning that are long-lasting," said Butterfield.
Consider this: if you drink six to eight beers or one bottle of wine every day for six years, you could experience learning and memory deficits upto nine years after you stop drinking alcohol!