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To all social drinkers (and future ones) nick_elan_morin - 15/04/2004 08:19:12 AM

We are such in big trouble

Study: Heavy social drinkers show brain damage

Wednesday, April 14, 2004 Posted: 2003 GMT (0403 HKT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Heavy social drinkers show the same pattern of brain damage as hospitalized alcoholics -- enough to impair day-to-day functioning, U.S. researchers said Wednesday.

Brain scans show clear damage, and tests of reading, balance and other function show people who drink more than 100 drinks a month have some problems, the researchers said.

"Socially functioning heavy drinkers often do not recognize that their level of drinking constitutes a problem that warrants treatment," the researchers, at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and the University of California San Francisco, wrote in their report.

"The enrollment criterion for heavy drinkers was the consumption of more than an average of 100 alcoholic drinks per month for men over 3 years before the study ( 80 drinks for women)," they wrote in the report, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

One drink is usually defined as a serving of spirits, a glass of wine or a can or bottle of beer.

Dieter Meyerhoff of UCSF and Dr. Peter Martin of Vanderbilt examined 46 chronic, heavy drinkers and 52 light drinkers recruited using newspaper ads and flyers.

They used magnetic resonance imaging to look at physical brain structures and also measured various brain chemicals associated with healthy brain function.

Standard tests of verbal intelligence, processing speed, balance, working memory, spatial function, executive function, and learning and memory were given to the volunteers.

"Our heavy drinkers sample was significantly impaired on measures of working memory, processing speed, attention, executive function, and balance," the researchers wrote.

Measures of brain chemicals and structures showed some of the same damage seen in alcoholics who are in the hospital or treatment centers, they said.

The study is unusual in that most studies of brain damage from alcohol are done in people who have undergone treatment.

"What our findings indicate is that brain damage is detectable in heavy drinkers who are not in treatment and function relatively well in the community," Meyerhoff said in a statement.

Martin and Meyerhoff said the study showed evidence of brain impairment, even if the drinkers cannot see it themselves.

"Our message is: Drink in moderation. Heavy drinking damages your brain ever so slightly, reducing your cognitive functioning in ways that may not be readily noticeable. To be safe, don't overdo it."

Meyerhoff said that for most adults, moderate alcohol use translates to up to two drinks per day for younger men, and one drink per day for women and older people.


Happiness is like pissing in your pants...
Everyone can see it but only you can feel its warmth.

This message last edited by nick_elan_morin on 4/15/2004 at 9:57:23 AM.

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To all social drinkers (and future ones) - 15/04/2004 08:19:12 AM 214 Views
*winces* *NM* - 15/04/2004 08:29:14 AM 6 Views
- 15/04/2004 08:36:52 AM 32 Views
well I wouldn't start abstaining yet - 15/04/2004 08:42:02 AM 14 Views
I'm not - 15/04/2004 09:41:21 AM 10 Views
you're a smart god - 15/04/2004 09:46:37 AM 8 Views
- 15/04/2004 10:05:02 AM 7 Views
*concurs* *NM* - 15/04/2004 08:42:32 AM 5 Views
- 15/04/2004 10:05:59 AM 7 Views
Unpossible ??? - 15/04/2004 09:55:02 AM 15 Views
Me fail English?! That's unpossible! - 15/04/2004 09:58:16 AM 11 Views
- 15/04/2004 10:06:50 AM 8 Views
And what ? - 15/04/2004 10:07:01 AM 9 Views
this study is crap actually - 15/04/2004 08:38:13 AM 40 Views
Re: this study is crap actually - 15/04/2004 08:45:11 AM 17 Views
Re: this study is crap actually - 15/04/2004 08:51:30 AM 11 Views
Re: this study is crap actually - 15/04/2004 08:55:35 AM 9 Views
I know, that why I post it *NM* - 15/04/2004 09:57:04 AM 3 Views
that's ok then - 15/04/2004 10:05:19 AM 7 Views
I just forgot to - 15/04/2004 10:09:59 AM 10 Views
Surprise Surprise - 15/04/2004 08:40:00 AM 17 Views
A complete one - 15/04/2004 10:02:19 AM 6 Views
So THAT'S what happened to me. Hmm. *NM* - 15/04/2004 09:43:44 AM 2 Views
Damn it!!! - 15/04/2004 11:31:04 AM 9 Views
Who the hell drinks 100 drinks a month? Thats a crazy amount. - 15/04/2004 12:19:15 PM 17 Views
It's managable, though not for long periods - 15/04/2004 12:24:05 PM 18 Views
Ah you really are European *NM* - 15/04/2004 08:18:03 PM 5 Views
BTW it really scares me that you drank that much in just two weeks. - 15/04/2004 08:35:57 PM 9 Views
It's fine - 16/04/2004 04:39:00 AM 6 Views
I am a victim of my culture *NM* - 16/04/2004 04:39:27 AM 2 Views
God made Pot, Man made Beer...Nuff Said *NM* - 15/04/2004 01:13:39 PM 4 Views