Exercise Can Limit Alcohol-Related Brain Damage

Heading to gym can help reduce negative effects of drinking

A good workout can do more than just maintain your figure. According to a new study, heading to the gym can help to limit the damage that alcohol inflicts on your brain’s white matter.

The study was conducted by taking MRI scans of 60 participants who all had similar clinical and brain data. They all told the researchers their levels of alcohol consumption, their loss of control over drinking, and the amount of aerobic exercise they do.

From these results the researchers were able to examine the relationship between exercise and the amount of neurological damage caused by alcohol, concluding that the amount of brain damage suffered in a heavy drinker is dependant on the amount of exercise they do.

Dr Susan Tapert, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, said: ‘For individuals with low levels of aerobic exercise, heavy drinking was linked to poorer white matter health, but for those with greater exercise involvement, the relationship between alcohol and white matter health was not as strong.

‘This suggests that individuals who have experienced alcohol-related brain problems could possibly use exercise to help recover those effects.’

The report is due to be published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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