April 22, 2013

Exercise May Offset Brain Damage Caused by Heavy Drinking

ACER

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

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Press Release

April 22, 2013

Aerobic exercise can slow cognitive decline and the negative neural changes caused by heavy drinking, claims new research in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental. 60 participants were analyzed for alcohol intake and exercise levels. The results reveal that aerobic exercise may prevent or repair neurological damage by protecting white matter integrity from alcohol-related damage.

This study found that the relationship between alcohol consumption and white matter depends upon the regularity of exercise. For individuals with low levels of aerobic exercise, heavy drinking was linked to poorer white matter health, but for those with greater exercise involvement, the relationship between alcohol and white matter health was not as strong.

“This suggests that individuals who have experienced alcohol-related brain problems could possibly use exercise to help recover those effects; studying people over time will tell us if this is in fact the case,” said Professor Susan F. Tapert, from University of California.

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