Washington: Wobbly walking and clumsy movesare classic signs of alcoholics. Now, a new study has found that heavy drinking has a major impact on coordination for years after giving up the bottle. Researchers at Neurobehavioral Research Inc in Honolulu,Hawaii, found that alcoholics who had only recently given up struggled to walk straight along a line or stand heel to toe with their arms folded for a minute with their eyes closed in tests, LiveScience.com reported. For their study, the team analysed the balance abilitiesand gaits of more than 200 volunteers, including diagnosed alcoholics who had been sober for several weeks, those who had been sober for an average of seven years, and people with no history of alcohol dependence. Each participant was put through a three-part test"similar to the things that might be done in field sobriety tests," said Dr George Fein, lead author of the study published in `Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research`. The volunteers were first screened for recent drug and alcohol use, then asked to perform a series of balance tests such as standing heel-to-toe with their arms folded across the chest for 60 seconds, standing on one leg, or walking along a line. Each test was repeated with the volunteers` eyes closed.
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