Opinions - Brain can repair alcohol's damage

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by jholmes800, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. jholmes800

    jholmes800 Titanium Member

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    LONDON (Reuters) - Excessive drinking can damage brain cells but the brain can repair some of the harm, a team of international researchers said on Monday.
    But they warned alcoholics should get sober as quickly as possible because the longer they continue to drink heavily, the less likely their brains will be able to regenerate.
    "The core message from this study is that, for alcoholics, abstinence pays off and enables the brain to regain some substance and to perform better," said Dr Andreas Bartsch, of the University of Wuerzburg, in Germany.
    Slurred speech, blurred vision and an inability to walk without swaying can occur after a few drinks but chronic alcohol abuse can cause more lasting damage and poor general health.
    Research in animals has shown that alcohol can disrupt the development of new brain cells in adults. Heavy drinking during pregnancy can also affect the development of the baby's brain.
    Bartsch and scientists from Germany, Britain, Switzerland and Italy uncovered the brain's regenerative ability by measuring the volume, form and function of the brains of 15 alcoholic men and women before and after they stopped drinking to see how much they changed over seven weeks.
    Using sophisticated scanning techniques they showed that after 38 days without a drink the brain volume of the patients increased by an average of nearly 2 percent.
    "Only the one patient with the longest history of alcohol dependence had a slightly reduced brain volume," said Bartsch, whose findings are reported online by the journal Brain.
    The volunteers also performed better in concentration and attention test and had higher levels of chemicals linked to brain cell function.
    All of the patients had stopped drinking without medication.
    "The human brain, and particularly its white matter, seems to possess genuine capabilities for re-growth," Bartsch said.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061218/hl_nm/brain_alcohol_dc_2
     
  2. Freak_

    Freak_ Titanium Member

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    I thought repairing of brain cells is not possible. I thought its only possible to use the unused brain cells wich we have a lot of...
    Nice posting.
     
  3. Dogears

    Dogears Newbie

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    Brain cells are not believed to divide in adults. But it is now believed that brain cells can be regenerated from stem cell tissue.
     
  4. blinkKDX

    blinkKDX Newbie

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    this is very interesting new info.
     
  5. zera

    zera Gold Member

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    There aren't any "unused" brain cells, every cell maps to some function basically. The humans only use 10% of their brain urban legend is just that, a myth. The standard orthodoxy before was that adults cannot create new brain cells, however recent research reveals that the brain is creating new neurons all the time, especially in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for learning and cognition.
     
  6. Corksil

    Corksil Titanium Member

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    Thank you for the enlightening piece of information. :cool:
     
  7. Freak_

    Freak_ Titanium Member

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    Yes, thank you for correction of my incorrect information. I'll clear this myth in my friend circle. I hope you are right, I never heard this, all people I know are telling this 10% urban legend.
     
  8. monkeygone2heaven

    monkeygone2heaven Titanium Member

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    there is no 10% thing (although the version i hear has always been 7% or 9% or 11%, never 10%).

    although it is also NOT true that the brain is regenerating new cells. adult neurogenesis is restricted to a set of circumstances in a restricted set of brain areas (so far known to occur only in the olfactory bulb and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, not the cerebral cortex).

    it is true that there is much potential for neural regeneration to happen more broadly (stem cells). remember the data from experiments are always from animals, sometimes not even in vivo (meaning the cells are not even in the animal, but in culture) so the techology for that to be clinically available for a human will take decades. it's very interesting and relevant but view these as scientific possibilities of the future, not as something feasible NOW.

    until then take care of your brain and assume cells are not going to be replaced..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurogenesis contains a non-neuroscience explanation which is a good start.
     
  9. Woodman

    Woodman A very strange person. Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Thank GOD!

    I should have been fucking autistic by now.

    .
     
  10. Frankster420

    Frankster420 Silver Member

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    People underestimate how powerful our brain is at fixing damage and restoring connections. Swim means, look at someone whos had a tramatic brain injury, the brain rapidly starts building new synapses to make up for the lost ones. Theres even a case of a young girl who had half her brain removed and she turned out just fine. I'm sure if you drink everyday, its going to take a toll on you, but I feel that if you give the brain enough time it can recover from anything. Just swims 2 cents.
     
  11. monkeygone2heaven

    monkeygone2heaven Titanium Member

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    You clearly has not seen enough stroke patients. i've seen them recover fully, i've seen them continue on speechless, motinoless, and miserable for decades...

    children are a whole different story. they can recover the loss of a hemisphere etc. but we're talking very young people here!

    the brain is a mystery..
     
  12. stoneinfocus

    stoneinfocus Silver Member

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    Yeah, alcohol is so, cool, evne the damge done can be "repaired", so don´t ever do illegal drugs, ´cause these are so much worse than alcohol, as you see it right now!

    So my fatehr didn´t manage to drink away his pancreas his brain, hjsi social life and any comunication and educational efforts in aany way, his liver and heart myocardium, but, hey, at least some of the synapses rebuild... or not when you´re too old and dying of 13 other alcohol-derived deseases.