Study Makes Worrying Findings On Binge Drinking Impact On Students' Brains

Study Makes Worrying Findings On Binge Drinking Impact On Students' Brains

Just a water then, please.

A study recently published online in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience has found that binge drinking altered the resting brain activity of some college students and may have led to cognitive difficulties.

The study monitored electrical activity in the brains of 80 first year students from a Spanish university who were asked about their drinking habits.

For the study, binge-drinking was defined as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks within a two-hour time frame for men, and four for women.

"A number of studies have assessed the effects of binge drinking in young adults during different tasks involving cognitive processes such as attention or working memory,” said lead scientist Dr. López-Caneda. “However, there are hardly any studies assessing if the brains of binge drinkers show differences when they are at rest, and not focused on a task.”

The findings are still somewhat inconclusive and more research is be needed to confirm if these changes are indeed caused by binge drinking or other another reason. Still, the research further emphasises the risks of binge drinking, especially underage binge drinking.


The average age of the students involved in the study was 18 & they attended Complutense University in Madrid. Electrodes were attached to their scalps to take electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings of electrical activity in different parts of their brains while at rest.

"It would be a positive outcome if educational and health institutions used these results to try to reduce alcohol consumption in risky drinkers," said Dr Lopez-Caneda.

Previous studies have linked binge-drinking to impaired mental performance, poor academic results, and risky sexual behaviour.

Original Article

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Eoin Lyons

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