Saturday, January 18, 2014

Say what?

Saturday morning seemed like an appropriate time to link to an article that debunks the myth that when you go out drinking, you end up killing a bunch of brain cells.  I always believed that was the case; thus, it was very much a surprise to find this post at io9 today.  Here's an excerpt:
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.
Of course, alcohol does other bad things to your brain (not to mention your liver, more crucially), so this certainly isn't a license to just drink yourself silly everyday.  The article is very informative and covers some additional interesting ground.  Check it out here.