Wednesday, 20 July 2011
After reading about this, spending a night of a heavy drinking may no longer seem too appealing. According to new information published by The Journal of Neuroscience, blacking out from drinking alcohol inhibits the creation of new memories.
The researchers used high levels of ethanol in this experiment and there was no evidence of alcohol obliterating brain cells or a difference in how brain cells communicate, instead it just weakens the memory or long-term potentiation (LTP). LTP maintains and strengthens the connection between learning and memory.
The alcohol triggers receptors in the brain to behave in contradictory ways, which blocks the neural signals that create memories. This is why people who are highly inebriated don't remember what happened the night before.
The good news from this is that doctors are closer to finding a way to preserve memories via LTP, so if alcohol succeeds in killing your LTP doctors can always restore it...
What do you think of these results? Do you ofter black out from alcohol? How is your memory affected?