Alcohol Shrinks Brains

Mesa Tribune, May 5, 2007

Study Ties Drinking To Brain Shrinking

Even Moderate Consumption Has Overall Impact

Milwaukee . . . Would that crisp Chardonnay or cool refreshing lager go down as guiltlessly if you knew that every sip contributed, imperceptibly, to the shrinkage of your brain?

A new study has found that over time, drinking alcohol, whether moderately or heavily, was associated with decreased brain volume.

And while heavy drinkers had significantly less brain volume than light or moderate drinkers, only abstainers were found to have no alcohol-related brain atrophy. The effect was the greatest in women.

Whether the loss of brain volume actually was caused by alcohol, and whether it contributed to any decreased cognitive function, remains to be seen. But the study is the latest cautionary note in the perplexing issue of whether moderate alcohol consumption is good for one*s health. It raises the question of whether drinking may be good for the heart but not so good for the brain. . . . The research, which included MRI brain scans of 1,839 people who are part of a Framingham study, was presented Wednesday at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting.

Based on their drinking habits, the people, who ranged in age from 34 to 88, were divided into five groups: nondrinkers; former drinkers; low drinkers (one to seven drinks a week); moderate drinkers (eight to 14 drinks a week); and heavy drinkers (more than 14 drinks). Their average age was 61.

Compared with the non-drinkers, all of the groups had progressively greater amounts of decreased brain volume, with the biggest decrease in the heavy drinkers. The heavy drinking group had a 1.25 percent decrease in brain volume.

D. L. Moody:

A physician in London noted that 7 of 10 patients he saw in a hospital were there because of problems caused by alcohol. The physician thought he could do mankind more good by becoming a preacher of the gospel than he could as a physician. Alcohol is the most destructive agency in the world today. It kills more than the bloodiest wars. It is the fruitful parent of crime and idleness and poverty and disease. It spoils a man for this world, and damns him for the next.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10: Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Deuteronomy 29:6: Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the LORD your God.

Alcohol interferes with one*s ability to know God.

Proverbs 31:4-5: It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: 5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.

Ezekiel 44:21: Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court.

Leviticus 10:9-10: Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: 10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;

Jewish priests who drank wine were forbidden to come into the presence of God under sentence of death.

Ephesians 5:18: And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

The influence of alcohol interferes with the influence of the Holy Spirit of God.

Proverbs 23:29-32: Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

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