Study shows even one drink impairs ability

Study shows even one drink impairs ability


One of the oldest drugs known to man is alcohol. Throughout the years there have been prohibitions and many laws concerning consumption, and numerous studies done on various effects it has on a person’s body.

Dutch researchers recently completed a study on the effects of “moderate” alcohol consumption. The lead author on the study is K. Richard Ridderinkhof of the University of Amsterdam and the Leiden University. It’s published by the online edition of the journal Science called the Sciencexpress and depicts the slowed processes of brain functions due to impaired ability by even smaller amounts of alcohol equal to one drink.

The volunteers experienced an error rate of about 4.8 percent on placebo, but after the first drink the errors soared to 19.8 percent. Drinking alcohol also reduced processing speed. Changes in brain action were quickly detected, leading the researchers to conclude that even a small amount of alcohol was enough to erode the mind’s ability to detect and correct errors.

Measures of brain waves showed that the small doses of alcohol quickly affected the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a part of the brain that influences thinking processes and the unconscious detection of error.

This evidence should not be surprising, however, as alcohol-related accidents and crimes actually take more lives than all illegal drugs combined. This clearly shows that “social” drinking even in moderate amounts can be hazardous, especially when operating a vehicle.

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For more information contact Erica Catton,

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