Ladettes'face Bigger Brain Damage Risk'

Daily Mail (London), February 15, 2001 | Go to article overview

Ladettes'face Bigger Brain Damage Risk'


Byline: BEEZY MARSH

HEAVY-DRINKING 'ladettes' were warned yesterday they face a greater risk of brain damage from alcohol than men.

Binge drinking among 18 to 25-year-olds has been found to affect parts of the brain which control thinking and memory in women.

Experts have long known that heavy drinking over a number of years leads to brain damage, but now believe women's brains are more sensitive to alcohol's toxic effects.

As a result, it is feared just a few years of overindulgence could lead to irreversible brain damage, while in men the same damage would take years longer to appear.

The alarming findings follow a Royal College of Physicians report which recently revealed one in four young women regularly drink more than the recommended 'safe' weekly levels, with liver disease now affecting women in their 20s.

The trend is thought to have been boosted by women trying to keep up with the boys, following the example of 'ladettes' who love to party.

Researchers at the University of California scanned the brains of a group of ten 18 to 25-year-olds with a history of alcohol abuse since their teens.

They compared them with a brain

group of women of the same age, with no history of heavy drinking, and both sets were asked to perform a series of tests.

Susan Taper, who led the study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, said that during memory tasks, women with a drinking history had less oxygen in areas of the brain needed for a variety of everyday tasks 'such as finding our way around or handling all the information that bombards us on a daily basis'. …

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