Back to the topic of binge drinking. As someone commonly termed 'a one pot screamer', meaning one drink usually makes me very cheap entertainment, I certainly blog a lot about alcohol.
Note that I never address the issues of binge chocolate eating. *cough*
Seriously, the increasing trend for binge drinking is a worry on so many levels. I've previously blogged about associated behavioural inhibition leading to risky behaviours and 'drunkorexia' but the list of concerns continues.
A new study from Northumbria and Keele Universities in the U. K. has revealed that binge drinking can have an impact on memory and that the effects are not transient but can last up to several days. This raises the issue, particularly in the context of adolescent drinking where the brain is still developing, of potential longterm damage.
The study examined students aged 17 to 19. Binge drinking was defined as at least 8 units a session for a man and 6 for a woman once or twice a week. In the study, drinkers consumed, on average, 30 units in just two sessions.
While binge drinkers reported no differences in memory compared to non-drinkers on self-report measures, a video-based test of memory showed otherwise. Binge drinkers reported up to a third less of items than non-drinkers.
Dr Thomas Heffernan, from the University of Northumbria states, "There is evidence that excess alcohol and binge drinking in particular damages parts of the brain that underpin everyday memory. Not only may these teenagers be harming their memory, if their brains are still developing they could be storing up problems for the future." Worrying stuff.
You can read a brief review of the study here.
Binge drinking damages memory (BBC News)
Heffernan, T. (2008). The impact of excessive alcohol use on prospective memory: A brief review. Current Drug Abuse Reviews, 1, 36-41 (link provided above).