Are You Drinking Your Memory Away?   

Are You Drinking Your Memory Away?


New study shows heavy drinking diminishes daily recall.

You forgot to send Mom a birthday card, and then missed your dentist appointment. Memory lapses linked to growing older, right?

Maybe not, says a new study that says the source of this type of forgetfulness may be alcohol.

Clinical and Experimental Research, found heavy users of alcohol had more problems with daily memory tasks, such as remembering to return a phone call or send a birthday card, than people who drank very little.


Heavy users of alcohol reported making consistently more errors than people who did not drink or drank only small amounts of alcohol.

Even moderate levels of drinking have an impact on cognitive function. People drinking 10 to 24 units per week performed significantly worse than participants who drank little or no alcohol on a measure of long-term prospective memory.

One glass of wine is equivalent to a unit of alcohol.

While past research has shown that heavy alcohol use damages retrospective memory -- which includes learning and retrieving information. Prospective memory includes things such as remembering to pay your bills on time or go to a friend's party. It also includes aspects such as remembering if you've locked the front door, or if you've already told someone a particular story.

Heavy drinking was defined as more than 25 units per week. Moderate drinking was defined as 10 to 24 drinks per week and light drinking was one to nine drinks per week.


Alcohol consumption has a significant effect on memory. A typical heavy user of alcohol is likely to report 31.16 percent more problems with long-term aspects of prospective memory than someone who does not drink, and to report 23.68 percent more problems than individuals who say they drink only small amounts of alcohol.

Heavy drinking was defined as more that 25 units per week.

The researchers weren't able to determine the cause of the memory problems. The study also didn't address whether the changes in memory were permanent or would disappear if people stopped drinking.

Someone drinking more than 21 drinks per week for women and 28 for men should know that they may have significant cognitive impairment from that and they should probably cut down.


Happy reading,

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