Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

No safe level: First study to show teenage binge drinkers harm abilities in later life

Date:
July 29, 2010
Source:
Northumbria University
Summary:
Researchers in the UK have demonstrated a link between teenage binge drinking and damage to prospective memory.

Academics at Northumbria University have demonstrated a link between teenage binge drinking and damage to prospective memory.

Prospective memory is an important aspect of day-to-day memory function and is defined as the cognitive ability to remember to carry out an activity at some future point in time. Examples include remembering to attend an appointment at the dentist or to carry out a task such as remembering to pay a bill on time.

In the first study to examine the effects of binge drinking on prospective memory in teenagers, researchers tested the ability of fifty students from universities in North East England to remember a series of tasks. The students were shown a 10-minute video clip of a shopping district in Scarborough and were asked to remember to carry out a series of instructions when they saw specified locations.

Twenty-one of the students were categorized as binge drinkers. For women, this meant that they drank the equivalent of six standard glasses of wine or, for men, six pints of beer, two or more times a week. The remaining 29 participants were categorised as non-binge drinkers.

The study found that the binge drinkers recalled significantly fewer location-action/items combinations than their non-binging peers. These findings were observed after screening out teenagers who used other substances (such as ecstasy, cannabis and tobacco), those who had used alcohol within the last 48 hours, and after observing no between-group differences on age, anxiety and depression.

Dr Tom Heffernan led the study. He comments: "The mechanisms that may underlie such everyday cognitive impairments associated with binge drinking are not yet fully understood. It is possible that excessive drinking may interfere with the neuro-cognitive development of the teenage brain.

"It is important to realise that there no 'safe' levels of drinking set for teenagers and that the amount of bingeing revealed in the present study represents a high volume of alcohol intake across the two to three bingeing sessions which were the norm in the group. The high levels of drinking amongst teenagers is particularly worrying given the mounting evidence that the teenage brain is still maturing and undergoing significant development in terms of its structure and function.

"Given that teenagers are inexperienced drinkers who have both a low tolerance for alcohol and immature neuro-physiological systems, they should therefore be drinking much less than the 'safe' levels recommended for adults."

Intriguingly, one other finding of the study is that binge drinkers do not perceive themselves to have a poor memory, suggesting teenagers do not appreciate the damage that is being done.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northumbria University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. Heffernan, R. Clark, J. Bartholomew, J. Ling, S. Stephens. Does binge drinking in teenagers affect their everyday prospective memory? Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2010; 109 (1-3): 73 DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2009.12.013

Cite This Page:

Northumbria University. "No safe level: First study to show teenage binge drinkers harm abilities in later life." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729075015.htm>.
Northumbria University. (2010, July 29). No safe level: First study to show teenage binge drinkers harm abilities in later life. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729075015.htm
Northumbria University. "No safe level: First study to show teenage binge drinkers harm abilities in later life." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729075015.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
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