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Rutgers Rat Study: Drinking Harms Brain Functioning Greatly

Moderate Drinking Harms Brain Function

Researchers from Rutgers University suggest that a few drinks a day can cause serious negative consequences on brain function. By studying rats, the researchers determined that the legal driving limit of blood alcohol in the U.S.(.08), adversely affects the brain.

In the study, a group of rats was administered alcohol that equaled approximately three to five drinks and a different group of rats was not given alcohol at all.

The area of the brain most affected by the alcohol amount in the rats bloodstream was the hippocampus. This is the area where nerve cells are produced and some types of learning takes place.

Lead researcher Megan Anderson states, “Moderate drinking can become binge drinking without the person realizing it. In the short term there may not be any noticeable motor skills or overall functioning problems, but in the long term this type of behavior could have an adverse effect on learning and memory.”

Ms. Anderson believes this amount of alcohol may be more harmful for people than previously thought by the medical community, based on the rat’s brain functioning. This study appeared in the journal Neuroscience.

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