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Monday, January 20, 2014

Heavy Drinking Affects Cognitive Function

Alcohol has a detrimental effect on the body, most importantly the brain, due to the caustic nature of the substance. New research has shown that drinking heavily can have a huge impact on memory. In fact, men who drink heavily in middle age have a decrease in memory and thinking skills 10 years later, according to a new study.

More than 5,000 men and 2,000 women, with the average age of 45 took part in the study. How much the participants drank was noted at the beginning of the study, after ten years they began taking memory and thinking skills tests.

Research showed that men who consumed at least 2.5 drinks a day performed worse on memory tests almost six years faster than other men, USA Today reports. There were no clear findings on women’s memory or thinking skills, the article notes.

“Much of the research evidence about drinking and a relationship to memory and executive function is based on older populations,” study author Séverine Sabia, PhD, of the University College London, said in a news release. “Our study focused on middle-aged participants and suggests that heavy drinking is associated with faster decline in all areas of cognitive function in men.”

Prolonged heavy drinking is never good in every respect and people should always drink in moderation if they are going to drink at all. Everyone has a different response to alcohol and there is no telling what damage will be done down the road if heavy drinking is an ongoing problem.

The findings are published in the journal Neurology.
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