[FoRK] So let's take another drink... 'cuz it'll give me time to think...

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, 
they said.

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 
published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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