Alcohol Does Not Kill Brain Cells

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Alcohol Does Not Kill Brain Cells

Now, to qualify that title, pure alcohol will absolutely kill brain cells and many other types of cells, which is why it is used as a disinfectant. However, recent research has shown that the quantity of alcohol you could possibly take in, without killing yourself, does not introduce enough alcohol into your bloodstream to kill brain cells. This was proven by a study by Grethe Jensen and co. (1993), who meticulously counted neurons in matched samples of non-alcoholics and alcoholics. What they found was that there was no real difference in the density or overall number of neurons between the two groups. Various other research since has backed up Jensen’s findings. Thus, even alcoholics who are continually taking in unhealthy amounts of alcohol aren’t going to see brain cells die because of their drinking problem. However, alcohol does have other effects on the brain, both positive and negative, that have nothing to do with brain cells dying. First, the positive: drinking moderate amounts of alcohol on a regular basis has been shown to have various positive effects on your body. The one that pertains to this article’s topic is that it has been shown to help protect people from cognitive impairment as they age. According to a study done at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, in Italy, 29% of people 65 years or older who almost never drank alcohol throughout their life had mental impairment issues. On the flip-side of that, only about 19% of people 65 years or older who drank moderate amounts of alcohol regularly had any mental impairment. It was further discovered that, among the various groups where other problems, such as health problems or the like, might impair them mentally, the same trend appeared. In every group, those who drank moderately on a regular basis throughout their lives always had a diminished chance of becoming mentally impaired in their old age compared to those who didn’t drink at all or almost never drank. Now for the negative (there’s a lot when it comes to intemperate alcohol consumption, so I’ll only cover a few): while brain cells aren’t being killed as the result of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, the ability for your brain cells to communicate with one another is being inhibited. What’s going on here is that the alcohol ends up damaging dendrites, which are the things at the ends of neurons that conduct electrochemical stimulation from another cell to the cell body in question. Basically, with some of these dendrites damaged, it inhibits the ability of your brain cells to talk to one another.

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due to the alcohol inhibiting the body’s ability to absorb thiamine (also many alcoholics are often malnourished because of their own bad eating habits). was a popular notion during Prohibition and for a while afterwards. Sources: Alcohol’s Damaging Effects on the Brain Does Alcohol Kill Brain Cells? Buzz: The Science and Lore of Alcohol and Caffeine The Claim: Alcohol Kills Brain Cells Wernicke-Korsakoff’s Syndrome Hangover Does Drinking Alcohol Kill Brain Cells? Top 10 Myths About the Brain Does Drinking Alcohol Kill Brain Cells? Zuccala. while not killing your brain cells. but nevertheless. but certain effects stick around forever as your body won’t be able to repair itself completely from this particular brand of damage. but this article is already too long.. to a certain extent. such as a small glass of wine a day.php/2010/10/alcohol-doe. but is still bad for your brain. is that drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to spontaneous combustion due to alcohol being flammable and it coursing through your veins. 2001. among other things. There are several things that contribute to hangovers. which is an anti-diuretic hormone. damaging these cells could be extremely detrimental to the individual. and others. if you go for long enough without giving your brain a chance to recover. Unfortunately. So in layman’s terms.. it has been shown that simply quitting drinking copious amounts of alcohol is all that is required for your body to be able to reverse most of the damage to the dendrites and restore the ability for your brain cells to communicate. but whether this is actually the case or not.com/index. 25.2010 02:32 . in turn. in most cases. and even inducing a coma or death. Then of course.Alcohol Does Not Kill Brain Cells http://www. However. coordination problems. such as developing Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. eye problems. Luckily. Another brain-related side effect caused by excessive drinking is that high doses of alcohol. memory problems. in a process that is called neurogenesis. Bonus Factoids: Another myth concerning alcohol that was once spread about. So you can afford to damage some of the neurons temporarily without any real lasting effect. recent research has shown. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Related Articles: 2 of 6 14. which is characterized by: confusion. Now. particularly during Prohibition. was all you’d ever have. drinking excessively won’t kill you brain cells directly. . and repair the damage caused in most cases. even among long time alcoholics. This. G. The myth that alcohol kills brain cells was also widely popularized during Prohibition. On the other hand. Dose-related impact of alcohol consumption on cognitive function in advanced age: Results of a multicenter study. for the people who have an extreme habit of excessively drinking. but to which I don’t think anyone actually believes anymore (at least I hope not!). once you reach adulthood. et al. Scientists once believed that the number of nerve cells you have in your brain.12. but principally what’s going on here is simple dehydration. New neurons are created all the time in the adult brain. at least as far as your brain is concerned. Bottom line. your body can compensate. which support the neurons). at least with rats. so long as you don’t make a regular habit of it. it is thought there may still be lasting effects due to this inhibited new brain cell growth over extended periods. there are the myriad of other problems.misconceptionjunction. there are other side effects on your brain that aren’t so easily completely fixed. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect by inhibiting the release of vasopressin. alcohol consumed in moderation. inhibits the growth of new brain cells. What’s going on here is that excessive alcohol consumption over a long period of time causes a vitamin B1 deficiency (8 out of 10 alcoholics are vitamin B1 deficient). So this helps mask the problem. Thus. Although. if it’s left untreated. hallucinations. other nervous system problems outside of how it affects your brain. causes neuron death. this isn’t correct. drinking excessively on a regular basis. Also. This is ridiculous on many levels. non-brain related that come with alcoholism. new brain cell production went into overdrive to try to compensate for the previously inhibited brain cell production. 1743-1748. However. There are also a variety of other known neurological problems that are associated with intemperate alcohol consumptions over long periods of time and some that even show up in a short amount of time in children and teens who abuse alcohol. This is treatable. along with 10′s of billions of glial cells. you have an amazing number of connections and neurons in your brain (about 100 billion neurons. isn’t yet known. that once the alcohol was no longer given to the rats. the result of alcohol inhibiting the vasopressin is that your body produces a lot more urine than normal with the result that you become dehydrated easily. such as liver problems. can be very good for you.

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[..] Reply Leave a Reply Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website Subscribe Via Email Misconception Junction’s Alter-Ego 4 of 6 14.] Reply 5. What Alcohol Actually Does to Your Brain and Body « Neoaxe's Blog says: November 10. 2010 at 12:42 am [.php/2010/10/alcohol-doe. What Alcohol Actually Does To Your Brain And Body | Lifehacker Australia says: November 9....misconceptionjunction. There were no significant differences found in either the number or density of brain cells between the groups..] Reply 8..com/index. Mike says: November 2. There were no significant differences found in either the number or density of brain cells between the groups.Alcohol Does Not Kill Brain Cells http://www. Dass says: October 19. [....12. and it’s 09:37 here in Brazil =) Reply 6. Misconception Junction tackles Jensen’s study and the topic in more depth.. Misconception Junction tackles Jensen’s study and the topic in more depth.] Alcohol does not kill brain cells – Prost.. 2010 at 6:13 pm Now that it’s been confirmed. [.] Don’t believe it? A major study by Grethe Jensen and colleagues in 1993 matched brain samples taken from both alcoholics and nonalcoholics. [. 2010 at 11:02 am [. 2010 at 5:37 am I knew it... I’m drinking a White Russian right now.. Alcohol: What it really does to the body | flick&tea says: November 11...] [.. from groups of the two dead from non-alcohol-related causes.2010 02:32 .. 2010 at 7:03 am [.] Don’t believe it? A major study by Grethe Jensen and colleagues in 1993 matched brain samples taken from both alcoholics and nonalcoholics. from groups of the two dead from non-alcohol-related causes.] Reply 9. I can resume my regularly scheduled drinking =) Reply 7.

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