Drinking Impairs Brain: How Much Alcohol Does It Take To Permanently Dull Brain Activity?

By Philip Ross on July 7, 2013 9:54 PM EDT

drinking impairs brain
It takes just 3 pints of beer or 3 glasses of wine for drinking to impair the brain, say researchers in Spain. (Photo: Reuters)

Drinking impairs brain function -- no shock there. But what may surprise you is just how little alcohol it takes to permanently blunt the brain. According to a new study from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, all it takes is just three pints of beer or three medium-sized glasses of wine just once a week to dull brain activity.

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Daily Mail reports that according to researchers, people who drink regularly have to use 20 percent more brainpower than normal just to function properly. They also find it more and more difficult to concentrate.

In order to test their theory that drinking impairs brain function in people who drink just three pints of beer once a week, researchers compared 26 students who were binge drinkers with 31 students who didn't drink as much. Both groups were given a series of "flashing symbols" designed to test reaction time, speed and accuracy.

The results showed that, while there was little difference in speed or accuracy, the group of binge drinkers had to give more of an effort to receive the same results.

"Binge-drinking carries lots of risks in terms of the immediate safety of students, but also in terms of their future health and the likelihood of developing an alcohol problem later in life," Emily Robinson, director of the campaign group Alcohol Concern, told the Daily Mail.

Read more from iScience Times:

Top Beer-Drinking States: July 4th Sales To Exceed $1 Billion, Where Does Your State Rank?

Beer Heart: A Pint A Day Boosts Cardiovascular Health [STUDY]

Beer Brain Study: Is Just A Taste Of Beer Enough To Increase Dopamine Levels In Brain?

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