Navigation Links
Exercise May Blunt Heavy Drinking's Effect on Brain
Date:4/17/2013

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- New research raises the possibility that exercise may protect the brains of heavy drinkers from the damage of alcohol.

The research is preliminary, however, and has limitations. The number of heavy drinkers in the study was small, at just nine. Also, it's not possible to know which came first: brain damage from alcohol use or protection to the brain from exercise.

Still, "aerobic exercise could be a beneficial recommendation for individuals with a history of heavy alcohol use," said study author Hollis Karoly, a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder. "This study represents an interesting first step in this line of research. Overall, we hope that this study inspires future research into the relationship between alcohol, exercise and the brain."

Scientists are intrigued by how both alcohol and exercise affect the workings of the brain. Alcohol "can remodel brain chemistry and brain structure. It can lead to neuron cell death, and alcoholism can lead to dementia," said Dr. J.C. Garbutt, a psychiatry professor who studies alcohol use at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Exercise has been shown to lead to enhancement of connections in the brain and may help by lowering blood pressure and changing body metabolic factors such as high fats and high blood sugar, which can negatively affect the brain."

In the new study, the Colorado researchers studied brain scans of 37 men and 23 women, aged 21 to 55, from the Albuquerque, N.M., area who answered questions about alcohol use, smoking and exercise. Thirty-nine were white.

Nine appeared to be what the study defined as problem drinkers.

Those who drank but didn't exercise had lower levels of so-called "white matter" in the brain. However, Karoly said, "we found that among high exercisers, the relationship between alcohol use and white matter damage was not significant."

White matter is important for relaying messages across the brain, Karoly said, "so damage to white matter could have a whole host of negative implications as far as cognitive processes such as memory, attention and self-regulation." The subjects didn't take tests to assess any of those mental abilities, however.

The people in the study who appeared to exercise the most reported that they got two or more hours of exercise per week. But it's not clear what kind of exercise they got or how accurate their recollections about exercise were.

Oddly, the participants in the study who exercised the most also drank the most -- nearly 1.75 drinks a day, on average. Those who exercised the least drank an average of less than 1.4 drinks a day.

Although the study showed an association between exercise and brain health, it did not prove a cause-and-effect link.

Garbutt said it's difficult to find definitive conclusions in the research. "I would view this as a very early, preliminary study that may highlight some areas for future research but doesn't provide much in the way of a solid finding to communicate to the public," he said.

Garbutt cautioned that anyone who drinks heavily or suffers from alcoholism "should get a good medical evaluation before undertaking aerobic exercise. Alcohol can affect heart rhythms, bone strength and the liver and pancreas, and one shouldn't start major exercise without knowing if there are risks such as heart problems."

But if a physician says it's OK, "exercise is good and might even help the brain," he said.

The study was published online April 16 and will appear in the September issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

More information

For more about alcoholism, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Hollis Karoly, graduate student, University of Colorado at Boulder; J.C. Garbutt, M.D., professor, psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; September 2013 Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Study: Women not getting enough exercise; at risk of developing metabolic syndrome
2. Exercise and attitude may be thermostat for hot flashes
3. Women Less Apt Than Men to Get Recommended Daily Exercise
4. Exercise improves quality of life during breast cancer treatment
5. Swallowing exercises linked with short-term improvement among patients with head and neck cancer
6. Swallowing exercises can help patients with head and neck cancer
7. Exercise May Help Patients With High Blood Pressure Live Longer
8. Exercise helps smokers to quit smoking, to remain smoke-free and to reduce the risk of death
9. A comparison of 2 home exercises to treat vertigo
10. Guidelines say diet, exercise, weight control improve odds after cancer diagnosis
11. Exercise Twice a Day Vital for Your Dogs Health, Expert Says
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Exercise May Blunt Heavy Drinking's Effect on Brain
(Date:3/29/2017)... CT (PRWEB) , ... March 29, 2017 , ... HealthCareMandA.com ... —on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at 1:00 PM ET. A recording of the webinar ... the Interactive Webinar Series. , Home health and hospice companies are still popular targets ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... Immunotherapy has emerged as one ... cancers and is touted to be the next revolution in our fight against this ... in the form of immune checkpoint inhibitors such as PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors. , ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... March ... ... eastern suburbs and South Hills of Pittsburgh now have easier access to ... Pennsylvania only by Allegheny Health Network (AHN). Orthopaedic surgeons at Forbes Hospital ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... ... The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce that ... gift to establish the Ken Moelis and Julie Taffet Moelis Advance Access Program ... for highly-qualified Penn undergraduates whose academic and career interests expand traditional notions of business ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... VisualSP has helped over 1.5 million SharePoint ... option for on-premises installation of its Help System for SharePoint was at the farm ... into the entire tenant. , The company recently released a modified version of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... , Mar. 29, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Policy, Patients Treated at Proton Therapy Centers & Forecast" report to ... The South ... its current market size in 2016. The Untapped Proton Therapy Market for ... Billion USD in 2016. Proton Therapy plays an important ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , Mar 29, 2017  Providence Medical ... announced the addition of two industry veterans to ... has joined the company to lead Global Marketing, ... leadership.  Together, Mr. Lynch and Mr. Scott have ... Mr. Lynch joins the company with ...
(Date:3/29/2017)...  Zynex (OTCQB: ZYXI), an innovative medical technology company specializing ... for pain management, stroke rehabilitation, cardiac monitoring and neurological ... 2016 full-year investor webcast on Monday, April 3, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. ... expects to file its 2016 full year financial results ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: