New study shows heavy drinking
diminishes daily recall.
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, MODERATE DRINKERS BEWARE
Heavy users of alcohol reported making consistently more
errors than people who did not drink or drank only small amounts
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
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
Heavy drinking was defined as more that 25 units per
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
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.