Do a few glasses of wine make you come up with more impulsive ideas as compared to your guy pals? Well, this study claims all those ‘light-headed’ whacky ideas you get after you drink alcohol have a scientific explanation.
In a study published in Trends in Neuroscience and Education, researchers studied the impact of alcohol on the neurobehaviors and academic efforts among college students. They also compared the analysis of individuals who had low consumption alcohol with those who consumed high levels of it. Apparently the impact of alcohol on women’s brain is more too!
How did the research start?
Researchers sent an anonymous survey to analyse the college students alcohol use. They enquired about their frequency of consumption, their sleep levels, academic performance and attitude toward learning.
Female college students are more likely to depend on alcohol to improve mental well-being, say researcher. They added that the young women appear to be more affected by high alcohol use than men, which may lead to less interest in academics. They also sifted through the responses with the lens of gender.
What did they find?
After analysis, it was found that both young men and women exhibit common behavioural responses to high alcohol use such as abuse of other substances and risk-taking.
Although they found that young women became more likely to cling onto alcohol for their mental health which is concerning. Drinking became a self-medication mechanism for them. They also found that women were more likely to lose interest in pursuing quality academic work and performance than men. Well, alcohol can’t certainly replace a therapist, ladies!
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Why are women more likely to be deeply impacted by heavy alcohol use?
Well, science explains an increase in impulsive behaviours to its direct connection to our body’s limbic system. According to evolution, it is actually the oldest part of our brain.
An assistant professor at Binghamton University, Lina Begdache stated: “Cognitive aptitudes of young women appear to be more affected than for men with high alcohol use.” The study researcher explained that our impulsive behaviours are regulated by the limbic system of the brain. Yet after examination, it was found that after heavy alcohol swigs, our cognitive ability is deeply impacted.
The researchers explain the difference in the cognitive ability of women and men on the difference in the way our bodies metabolises alcohol. It was found that women were to metabolise alcohol at a slower rate leading to more impulsive behaviours.
Women are also more likely to accumulate toxic metabolite-acetaldehyde. This toxic metabolite may actually alter our brain chemistry leading to an adverse impact on our ability to be productive.
Although, it doesn’t mean that men are immune to the impact of heavy alcohol use. Begdache stated: “These findings are also explained by the fact that women tend to have higher connectivity between cortices, while men have a large cortical volume in the areas on the limbic system that support impulsivity.”
While we all love to wind down with our friends or partner after a heavy day of work, constant clinging onto alcohol ignorantly or for mental support might not lead you to abundance. The constant addiction to the high might not be worth it, ladies!
(with inputs from IANS)