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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

There Go My Golden Years

posted by on October 14 at 10:23 AM

Wine may get better with age but the wine drinkers won’t.

The more alcohol you drink, the more your brain shrinks, a new study has found.

“The take-home message is that, if you drink a lot, you’re going to hurt your brain,” said Rajesh Miranda, an associate professor of neuroscience and experimental therapeutics at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. “This is something we knew, but this is a huge study that quantifies that.” …

[T]he more a person drank, the more their brain volume diminished. This relationship was somewhat more pronounced in women, although women tended to be lighter drinkers.

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So excessive drinking is bad for you?

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 14, 2008 10:29 AM

Great! I can drink more, and my synapse gaps will shrink, reducing my overall reaction time!

Posted by Chris | October 14, 2008 10:29 AM

Oh what a pile of shit. Are they following individuals over time, or just comparing drinkers to non-drinkers? If the latter, they can't say shit about causation. Maybe tiny brained people are more prone to drinking; maybe there's an underlying characteristic that causes both shrinking brains and more alcohol consumption.

And the idea that it's more pronounced in women? Come on -- do the researchers know if women are more likely to underreport their consumption than men, therefore skewing the results? It's a lot less socially acceptable for women to drink mass quantities than men -- especially in the 60 year old generation.

Posted by idaho | October 14, 2008 10:33 AM

My ultimate goal is for the tiny, little, walnut-sized remaining nubbin of my brain to go 'poof' on my 90th birthday. See you there, bitches! Bring liquor.

Posted by Greg | October 14, 2008 10:36 AM

So what? The average person only uses about 10% of their brain on a good day, meaning it's already more than 80% wasted space in there anyway.

Posted by Drunky McDrunkerson | October 14, 2008 10:40 AM

3 - too drunk to read the article? the answers to your questions are right there.

Posted by brandon | October 14, 2008 10:42 AM

I think I am smarter when I drink. And that is the only metric that really matters. Unless you happen to be not me.

Posted by slim | October 14, 2008 10:43 AM

I'm better at video games when I'm drunk, and the only time I'm entirely honest is when I'm drunk...the only way I can sit through political speeches is if I'm drunk, and the only way I'll vote is drunk. I think I'm better off drinking.

Posted by The facts of life. | October 14, 2008 10:49 AM

@5, no.

Brain is divided into know...called lobes that have differing functions--frontal, occipital, parietal, and temporal. Even within those lobes, there are sub regions like Broca and Wernicke's area, pre frontal lobe, blah blah blah. Even conservatives use more than 10%, even if doesn't seem like it.

As for the study...well, duh. Alcohol abuse hurts the body. Who would have thought?

Posted by Leslie N. | October 14, 2008 10:52 AM

So just like, oh, every other credible scientific study in history, the take away here is that moderation is the key.


Posted by Mike in Renton | October 14, 2008 10:57 AM

This is why studies always say that the benefits for women are mixed, whereas they're positive for men.

And I disagree about "use", Leslie, more like "misuse".

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 14, 2008 10:59 AM

*None of the participants had evidence of clinical dementia or had suffered a stroke.* So in effect they've shown that among a population pre-screened to not be susceptible to stroke or dementia, heavy alcohol consumption caused brain shrinkage. There's an obvious flaw here: perhaps you've effectivly screened out the non-drinkers who had above average shrinkage - i.e. those more susceptible to stroke. Maybe what they've really shown is that if you're predisposed to dementia or a stroke becuase of above normal brain shrinkage, drinking wine like a basque peasant actually lowers your odds of stroke and dementia.

Posted by kinaidos | October 14, 2008 11:07 AM

I thought that's what we were shooting for all along.

Posted by Toe Tag | October 14, 2008 11:10 AM

OTOH, weed totally reverses this.

Posted by max solomon | October 14, 2008 11:12 AM

BUT according to the BBC, using the Internet will grow your brain!

Just websurf drunk, they'll cancel each other out and you'll be fine.

Posted by alexb | October 14, 2008 11:27 AM

"This relationship was somewhat more pronounced in women..."

No shit?...

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | October 14, 2008 11:42 AM

Well, no wonder Ted Roethke couldn't write poetry worth shit!

Posted by Jeff Stevens | October 14, 2008 11:49 AM

So now we know where right-wing republicans come from.

Posted by Tom | October 14, 2008 12:42 PM

So how come Megan Seling doesn't look like Metaluna?

Posted by Cookie W. Monster | October 14, 2008 1:08 PM

The article does mention that there's no solid correlation between brain shrink and brain function, however.

And for what it's worth (I know it was just a joke but I'm being THAT GUY anyways), the "we only use 10% our brain" idea is a myth. We actually need 100% of our brains for one thing or another. The persistence of this misnomer is, in part, a holdover from mystics and psychics purporting we only use 10% of our brain's potential - the other 90% of course THEY use (for a fee) to tap into their supernatural powers.

I need a beer.

Posted by Dougsf | October 14, 2008 1:12 PM

Ah, #15 beat me to it.

Posted by beatgrl | October 14, 2008 1:12 PM

@12 - actually, everyone's at risk of dementia, the age-related incidence increases as you get older, and the same goes for stroke.

Mind you, exercise, a varied diet low in red meat, and drinking wine (if male) will help reduce those risks dramatically.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 14, 2008 3:57 PM

Dominic Holden give The Incredible Sulk bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill, Sulk drink bottle, freak out, brain shrink, THE INCREDIBLE SULK BECOME JOHN BAILO!


Hey, wait a minute! It was only a dream! Whew! Thank God!

And no, I don't feel like letting it go.

Posted by The Incredible Sulk | October 14, 2008 5:09 PM

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