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Does drinking impair cognitive function?

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Practicing since : 2001
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Hi, Im 19 yrs old and i am currently attending college. Recently, i started drinking more intensely. My friends and i usually drink every 2 to 3 weeks. During this time, I usually drink a lot in one sitting, about 8 to 10 beers and get drunk. I was just wondering how this would effect my intelligence. I've heard beer or alcohol in general could impair cognitive function in the brain, impairing learning and memory processes. But to what degree? I've heard lots of cases about people in college drinking but they still are very smart and wind up becoming very successful afterwards. so does drinking as much as i do really cause a significant drop in intelligence?
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in Weight & Lifestyle
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 19 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

There are many different hypotheses which show a correlation of alcohol consumption and the intellectual abilities.
On acute consumption, there is definitely clouding of thinking reducing the intellectual capacity of the patient.
On long term intake in high quantities, it can cause decreased neurogenesis- decrease the repair of damaged neural cells which can be partially reversed with antioxidants.
Very high quantities produces acetaldehyde which might damage DNA causing increased tendency to contact cancers, etc.
There can be some dementia also on chronic consumption either due to the direct effects or secondary to the vitamin B-complex deficiency associated with alcohol consumption.
The extent of damage done varies from person to person and cannot be calculated mechanically.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. If there are additional concerns, I am available for your followups.

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