Why binge drinking makes you forgetful – it damages your ability to lay down long-term memories

Claire Bates
Daily Mail

Students who enjoy regular pub crawls are putting their long-term memory at risk, scientists warn.

A study has found that binge drinking affects the brain’s hippocampus, which plays a key role in learning and memory.

This brain structure is particularly sensitive to the poisonous effect of alcohol no matter what your age, which is bad news for heavy drinking undergraduates.

Lead researcher Dr Maria Parada said: ‘We wondered whether hippocampus-dependent learning and memory could be affected by heavy episodic drinking.

‘In northern European countries, there is a strong tradition of a sporadic, drunkenness-orientated, drinking style.

‘In recent years, the pattern of binge drinking among young people has become more widespread throughout Europe, hence the growing concern about this issue.’

Our long-term memory is split into two types: declarative memory – which is our memory for facts and procedural memory – which is how we know how to physically do something like tie our shoelaces.

Scientists from Universidade de Santiago de Compostela in Spain found heavy drinking had a detrimental effect on students’ declarative memory.

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