[FoRK] So let's take another drink... 'cuz it'll give me time to
Contempt for Meatheads
jbone at place.org
Wed Apr 14 22:25:29 PDT 2004
Sometimes you see something that actually makes you think "well, okay,
I'm not as bad off as I thought I was." I mean, geez --- 100 drinks /
month is like 3 drinks a day. I mean, if I drink at all on consecutive
days or more than 3 drinks at a time more than once a week, I'm hurtin'
bad. I am SO out of training... ;-)
Good thing I don't live in NoLa. ;-) :-)
OTOH, I guess you might make the argument that "that which does not
kill me makes me stronger." I.e., the Bush-delusion equivalent for
various folks that have a fondness for certain complex sugars instead
of religious irrationality and god-spot tickling. ;-) :-) Should we
all accelerate the fitness curve in vivo? What IS an individual? Cf.
Crick. It's not fucking quantum, you gray haired mystics!
Study: Heavy social drinkers show brain damage
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Heavy social drinkers show the same pattern of
brain damage as hospitalized alcoholics -- enough to impair day-to-day
functioning, U.S. researchers said Wednesday.
Brain scans show clear damage, and tests of reading, balance and other
function show people who drink more than 100 drinks a month have some
problems, the researchers said.
"Socially functioning heavy drinkers often do not recognize that their
level of drinking constitutes a problem that warrants treatment," the
researchers, at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and the University
of California San Francisco, wrote in their report.
"The enrollment criterion for heavy drinkers was the consumption of
more than an average of 100 alcoholic drinks per month for men over 3
years before the study (80 drinks for women)," they wrote in the
report, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental
One drink is usually defined as a serving of spirits, a glass of wine
or a can or bottle of beer.
Dieter Meyerhoff of UCSF and Dr. Peter Martin of Vanderbilt examined 46
chronic, heavy drinkers and 52 light drinkers recruited using newspaper
ads and flyers.
They used magnetic resonance imaging to look at physical brain
structures and also measured various brain chemicals associated with
healthy brain function.
Standard tests of verbal intelligence, processing speed, balance,
working memory, spatial function, executive function, and learning and
memory were given to the volunteers.
"Our heavy drinkers sample was significantly impaired on measures of
working memory, processing speed, attention, executive function, and
balance," the researchers wrote.
Measures of brain chemicals and structures showed some of the same
damage seen in alcoholics who are in the hospital or treatment centers,
The study is unusual in that most studies of brain damage from alcohol
are done in people who have undergone treatment.
"What our findings indicate is that brain damage is detectable in heavy
drinkers who are not in treatment and function relatively well in the
community," Meyerhoff said in a statement.
Martin and Meyerhoff said the study showed evidence of brain
impairment, even if the drinkers cannot see it themselves.
"Our message is: Drink in moderation. Heavy drinking damages your brain
ever so slightly, reducing your cognitive functioning in ways that may
not be readily noticeable. To be safe, don't overdo it."
Meyerhoff said that for most adults, moderate alcohol use translates to
up to two drinks per day for younger men, and one drink per day for
women and older people.
Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be
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