Alcohol can help you to remember
Written By: Abbie Smith
Despite people often drinking as a means of forgetting their problems, alcohol may help us to remember them, according to scientists.
Research has found that the process of getting drunk primes the areas of our brain that causes us to learn and remember things clearly.
While the popular belief that drinking can help you to forget things and impairs your learning is not incorrect, it only highlights one of the effects that alcohol can have on your brain.
The study was carried out in America at the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research at The University of Texas.
It found that repeated exposure to alcohol improves synaptic plasticity in a key area of the brain.
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Neurobiologist Hitoshi Morikawa told Science Daily: “Usually, when we talk about learning and memory, we're talking about conscious memory.”
“Alcohol diminishes our ability to hold on to pieces of information like your colleague's name, or the definition of a word, or where you parked your car this morning.”
“But our subconscious is learning and remembering too, and alcohol may actually increase our capacity to learn.”
He believes that when people take drugs or drink alcohol, the subconscious becomes more receptive to forming memories and habits in regards to food, music, people and social situations.
Because of this, he thinks that alcoholics enjoy drinking because behavioral, psychological and environmental cues that are reinforced when alcohol releases dopamine to the brain.
“People commonly think of dopamine as a happy transmitter, or a pleasure transmitter, but more accurately it's a learning transmitter,” he said.
Morikawa conducted the study to gain a better understanding of addiction and its neurobiological underpinnings, in the hope that he can eventually develop anti-addiction drugs.
He said: “We're talking about de-wiring things. It's kind of scary because it has the potential to be a mind controlling substance. Our goal, though, is to reverse the mind controlling aspects of addictive drugs.”
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”