Addiction Treatment

Using Exercise to Repair Alcohol Damage in the Brain

Written By:

Becky Babb

    As if there aren’t already an infinite number of reasons exercise can benefit your health, there’s now proof that it can help reduce memory deterioration in the brain caused by heavy alcohol exposure.A study published in September’s issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research journal discussed a study done by the University of Colorado about the relationship between alcohol and aerobic exercise.

    Researchers studied a group of 60 people, ages 21-55, from a database used in previous alcohol studies. They had an average of 101 drinks in the previous two months, along with 96 minutes of exercise per week. Out of the 60 people, showed signs of heavy problem drinking, and some people didn’t drink or exercise at all.

    One of the researchers, Hollis Karoly, said the final results proved “the relationship between alcohol consumption and [the brain’s] white matter depends on how much people exercise.” This is significant because white matter is responsible for the transmission of information across the brain. It’s possible other factors could affect these results, for example, if a person has been into exercising for an extended period of time, or if they have a healthy diets and sleep habits.

    The combination of heaving drinking and a stationary lifestyle is known to be damaging to the brain, and aerobic exercise helps improve memory and learning. Given this information, it makes sense that exercise could help reduce negative effects of drinking. However, the study did not measure many details about exercise routines for the group. This means that researchers were unable to determine exactly how much exercise is needed to reverse a particular amount of drinking, for example, one night out on the town.

    If you have questions regarding alcohol use and how it could be negatively affecting your brain, contact one of our counselors for professional guidance.

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