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:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... 10 Best Water is ... leading bottled water brand owners that topped the list as a result of their ... conversion. The premier brand was Tibet 5100, a top notch water company that specializes ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... bring together more than 200 of the country’s top healthcare executives to share ... “The true benefit of the Forum is the provider-centric perspective, experience, expertise and ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... Armune BioScience signed a definitive agreement with ... service centers across the country. Launched in April of 2015, Apifiny is the only ... cancer. Apifiny order volume exceeded 3,000 tests in 2015. Primary care physicians and urologists ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... A national ergonomics ... and Expo event March 9-11, 2016. Hosted by Ohio's Bureau of Worker's Compensation, ... As the longest running and largest worker's compensation event in Ohio, organizers of ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... February 26th: Amateur & Professional Divisions - Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm | ... | Ticket Prices $30, Social Media: http://www.USPoleSportsFed.org , Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/uspolesportsfederation ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  Visage Imaging Inc. ("Visage"), a ... has announced that the American College of Radiology ... selected the Visage 7 Enterprise Imaging Platform as ... Care Imaging SIMulation (SIM). SIM is the assessment ... (WIDI), a multi-faceted and fully-integrated online assessment, education ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... CORAL SPRINGS, Florida , February 10, 2016 ... Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADMS ) and Celldex Therapeutics, ... Medivation, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDVN ), Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ). --> Today,s latest Orphan Drug Designations become ... granted by the FDA to novel drugs and biologics which ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... and OR AKIVA, Israel , February ... Ltd., a leader in the field of cartilage ... round on February 5, 2016. The $15 million investment ... a leading Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturer, and was joined by ... Generali Financial Holdings and both the Technion Research & ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: