It might not be surprising news that a night of heavy drinking impacts a person’s short-term memory, but University of Florida researchers have found that older adults’ mental abilities are more affected by heavy drinking than younger adults, and that heavy drinking in youth can have long-lasting effects on memory and learning in old age.
Researchers investigated the effects of current heavy alcohol consumption as well as a past history of heavy alcohol use on adults. They found the older a person is, the more significantly heavy drinking affects thinking and memory. They also found a lifetime of past heavy drinking has the same negative impact, even after someone stops drinking. The researchers published their findings online Thursday (Sept. 22) in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.