Binge drinking can damage memory of teen girls
Researchers have found that binge drinking affects the part of the brain which controls memory and spatial awareness in young women, the latest edition of the Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research journal reported.
This is because the brains of teenage girls are vulnerable to harm from alcohol because they develop earlier than men`s, say the researchers who carried out tests on 95 adolescents, aged 16 to 19 years.
Binge-drinking young women were defined as those drinking more than three pints of beer or more than four glasses of wine at one sitting. Binge-drinking men drank four pints of beer or a bottle of wine.
The same tests were then carried out on 31 males and 24 females who did not have episodes of drinking heavily and the results compared.
Using MRI scans, the study team found that female teenage heavy drinkers had less brain activation in several brain regions than female non-drinking teens when doing the same spatial task.
They suggested that this could cause problems when driving, playing sports involving complex moves, using a map or remembering how to get somewhere.
Susan Tapert, professor of psychiatry at the University of California and lead study author, said these differences in brain activity negatively affected other functions, like concentration and "working memory".
The study describes "working memory" as using and working with information that is in your mind, like adding up numbers. It is also critical to logical thinking and reasoning.