Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Drinking for just eight weeks impairs learning and memory in mice

15.06.2005


  • Previous human and animal studies have shown that chronic alcohol consumption can produce deficits in learning and memory.
  • A new rodent study is the first to show that continuous drinking for as little as eight weeks can produce deficits in learning and memory that last up to 12 weeks after drinking stopped.

Both human and animal studies have shown that chronic alcohol consumption can produce deficits in learning and memory. Rodent studies, for example, have shown that chronic alcohol consumption for six months or more can produce permanent deficits and neural damage. A rodent study in the June issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research is the first to show that continuous drinking for as little as eight weeks can produce deficits in learning and memory that last up to 12 weeks after drinking stopped.

"The learning and memory deficits we found in our mice that received eight weeks of alcohol followed by three weeks of withdrawal affect all types of learning and memory," said Susan A. Farr, associate professor of medicine at St. Louis University School of Medicine and corresponding author for the study. "That is, they are global. We found deficits in every type of task we tested the mice in, from complex to simple tasks. Our study is the first to show that drinking for a duration as short as eight weeks produces lasting deficits up to at least 12 weeks after the cessation of alcohol."

"Drinking doesn’t just produce a hangover," said D. Allan Butterfield, The Alumni Professor of biological and physical chemistry at the University of Kentucky. "Chronic drinking may lead to permanent cognitive deficits." Butterfield, also director of the Center of Membrane Studies, said these findings are especially troubling for college students who may engage in binge drinking. "People should exercise caution against binge drinking since cognitive deficits may ensue," he said.



Researchers fed eight-week-old male mice, of two different strains, either an alcohol or sucrose diet for eight weeks, followed by a three-week withdrawal period. Learning and long-term memory tests included T-maze footshock avoidance, Greek Cross brightness discrimination, step-down passive avoidance, and shuttlebox active avoidance. "The tasks we used cover many forms of learning," said Farr, "including different motivational factors as well as difficulty levels."

Farr said there were three main findings. "One, that consumption durations as short as eight weeks produce deficits twelve weeks after withdrawal. This is a much shorter duration than previously reported to produce such deficits. The implications are that the deficits are permanent. Two, that the deficits appear to be global, affecting all types of learning. Three, that the deficits are not related to any nutritional or sensory deficits produced by the alcohol. This indicates that the alcohol produced neurochemical changes in the brain important for learning and memory."

"This study demonstrates that the lingering effects of chronic alcohol ingestion are profound," said Butterfield. "Although I am not a behaviorist, my sense of the study suggests that these results, transferable to humans, imply profound deficits in cognition, memory, and learning that are long-lasting."

Farr concurred. "For the average reader," she said, "while one must be cautious going straight from mouse to human, this would be equivalent to a human that drank six to eight beers or one bottle of wine a day every day for six years could experience learning and memory deficits up to nine years after they stopped drinking alcohol."

Farr said that she and Butterfield plan to continue with their investigation of the neurochemical changes in the brain that are producing these deficits.

Susan A. Farr, Ph.D. | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.alcoholism-cer.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht 127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>