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Alcohol-induced blackouts: The last five years of research

Date:
April 25, 2016
Source:
Research Society on Alcoholism
Summary:
Alcohol-induced blackouts, defined as memory loss of all or a portion of events that occurred during a drinking episode, are reported by approximately 50 percent of drinkers, and are associated with a wide range of negative consequences, including injury and death. Identifying the factors that contribute to and result from alcohol-induced blackouts is critical for developing effective prevention programs. A new manuscript provides an updated review of clinical research that has focused on alcohol-induced blackouts. It outlines practical and clinical implications of these findings and provides recommendations for future research.
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Alcohol-induced blackouts, defined as memory loss of all or a portion of events that occurred during a drinking episode, are reported by approximately 50 percent of drinkers, and are associated with a wide range of negative consequences, including injury and death. Identifying the factors that contribute to and result from alcohol-induced blackouts is critical for developing effective prevention programs. A new manuscript provides an updated review of clinical research that has focused on alcohol-induced blackouts. It outlines practical and clinical implications of these findings and provides recommendations for future research.

The authors conducted a comprehensive, systematic literature review of all articles published from January 2010 through August 2015 that examined vulnerabilities, consequences, and possible mechanisms for alcohol-induced blackouts.

The review yielded 26 studies on alcohol-induced blackouts: 15 studies examined prevalence and/or predictors of alcohol-induced blackouts, six publications described the consequences of alcohol-induced blackouts, and five studies explored potential cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced blackouts. The research suggests that individual differences, not just alcohol consumption, increase the likelihood of experiencing an alcohol-induced blackout, and the consequences of the blackouts extend beyond those related to the drinking episode to include psychiatric symptoms and neurobiological abnormalities. The authors suggest that prospective studies and a standardized assessment of alcohol-induced blackouts are needed to fully characterize factors associated with them and to improve prevention strategies.


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Journal Reference:

  1. Reagan R. Wetherill, Kim Fromme. Alcohol-Induced Blackouts: A Review of Recent Clinical Research with Practical Implications and Recommendations for Future Studies. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2016; DOI: 10.1111/acer.13051

Cite This Page:

Research Society on Alcoholism. "Alcohol-induced blackouts: The last five years of research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160425100421.htm>.
Research Society on Alcoholism. (2016, April 25). Alcohol-induced blackouts: The last five years of research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160425100421.htm
Research Society on Alcoholism. "Alcohol-induced blackouts: The last five years of research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160425100421.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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