London: Teenagers who binge drink could
be risking serious permanent damage to their brains now, and
increasing memory loss later in life, a new study has claimed.
Researchers have discovered that consuming a very
high amount of alcohol in a short time can cause irreversible
damage, which can in the long run even make youngsters absent
-minded and forgetful.
Previous research found that high levels of alcohol
act as a poison and prevent the brain working properly. Now an
international team has found that excess alcohol can destroy
grey matter called the hippocampus, which stores and recalls
events and forms mental images, known as spatial reasoning.
For the study, the researchers gave alcohol for one
hour a day to teenage macaque monkeys, who drank until they
were drunk. Their brains produced fewer cells and suffered
more neural degeneration than a control group, the `Daily
Last year, a survey of 35 countries found the UK
had the third highest number of 15 and 16-year-olds with an
alcohol problem. Girls were worse than boys.
Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said
the government needed "to force the drinks industry to ensure
consumers are aware of the dangers".