Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drinking Heavy Amounts Of Alcohol Shrinks Your Brain

Date:
May 3, 2007
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
Drinking heavy amounts of alcohol over a long period of time may decrease brain volume, according to new research. The study found the more alcohol people drink on a regular basis, the lower their brain volume.

Drinking heavy amounts of alcohol over a long period of time may decrease brain volume, according to research that was presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 28 -- May 5, 2007. The study found the more alcohol people drink on a regular basis, the lower their brain volume.

The study involved MRI scans of 1,839 people from the Framingham Offspring study, ages 34 to 88, who were classified as non-drinkers, former drinkers, low drinkers (one to seven drinks per week), moderate drinkers (eight to 14 drinks per week), or high drinkers (more than 14 drinks per week). MRI scans were performed and used to measure brain volume, which can be thought of as a measure of brain aging.

"Research has shown that there is a beneficial effect of alcohol in reducing incidence of cardiovascular disease in people who consume low to moderate amounts of alcohol. However, this study found that greater alcohol consumption was negatively correlated with brain volume," said study author Carol Ann Paul, MS, of Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA.

This cross-sectional study found people who had more than 14 drinks per week had an average 1.6 percent reduction in the ratio of brain volume to skull size compared to people who didn't drink. In other words, brain volume decreased .25 percent on average for every increase in drinking category (i.e. non-drinkers, former drinkers, low drinkers, moderate drinkers, or high drinkers).

In addition, Paul reported the inverse relationship between drinking and brain volume was slightly larger in women than in men. Also, drinking heavy amounts of alcohol seemed to have the biggest negative impact on brain volume for women in their 70s.

In looking at the longitudinal effects of drinking, people who had a 12-year history of heavy drinking had less brain volume than those who changed into the high drinking group during those 12 years. Researchers are following up on these findings to make sure these differences hold up.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Drinking Heavy Amounts Of Alcohol Shrinks Your Brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502172317.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2007, May 3). Drinking Heavy Amounts Of Alcohol Shrinks Your Brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502172317.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Drinking Heavy Amounts Of Alcohol Shrinks Your Brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070502172317.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins