Moderate drinking? Alcohol consumption significantly decreases neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus

Drinking alcohol in moderation is often considered a health-conscious behavior, associated with improved cardiovascular and brain health. However, “moderate” amounts of alcohol include drinking 3–4 alcohol beverages in a day, which is closer to binge drinking and may do more harm than good. Here we examined how daily drinking of moderate-high alcohol alters the production of new neurons in the adult hippocampus. (…) 

This level of intoxication did not impair motor skill learning or function in either sex, nor did the alcohol consumption disrupt associative learning 2 days after drinking. Therefore, moderate alcohol consumption did not disrupt basic sensory, motor or learning processes. However, the number of cells produced in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus was reduced by nearly 40%. Thus, even moderate consumption of alcohol for a relatively short period of time can have profound effects on structural plasticity in the adult brain. [via]

If you have the lifestyle that allows moderate drinking by this definition, loooosing nearly half of  your neural production may not be a big factor in your day to day decision making anyway.

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GOPY

I’m all for spirited debate.

But when a major media figure calls a private citizen a “slut,” I can’t help but get a bit outraged.  And it is my bias, but when that private citizen is one of our own (a law student), no one benefits.  

Here, open public discourse is important not just for the maintenance individuals’ liberties.  Public discourse is additionally important because it ensures ideological and political diversity.  Democracy is strengthened by this diversity.

When extremely influential media figures use their position to call private citizens names, it discourages all private citizens from participating in public discourse.

So, I’m proud that President Obama took the time to call Sandra Fluke to thank her for her support.  I hope Limbaugh eventually has the decency to apologize for his misconduct (not his views).

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