Drinking too much can cause some pretty negative effects on the body. One area which can be hit hard by alcohol is a person’s memory. Alcohol memory loss is something you’ll want to be aware about if you drink. That way, you can see how it can have both a short- and long-term impact…

Alcohol Memory Loss: What’s The Connection?

Disrupting the brain

Alcohol memory loss occurs because of how drinking messes up normal brain activity. In particular, it’s because of the ethanol in alcohol. When you drink, certain parts of the brain will run a little slower. One of these parts happens to deal with our memory.

Basically, our brains transfer things we think are important from our short-term memory to our long-term memory. However, alcohol ends up disrupting this process. Furthermore, constant heavy drinking can damage the hippocampus, which is key to both our memory and our ability to learn things.

Short-term memory

Alcohol memory loss is most commonly seen in a person’s short-term memory. These issues usually occur after excessive or binge drinking. Most people who drink too much struggle to remember the details of what happened. This makes sense, considering how their brains can’t transfer than info to the long-term memory properly.

In particular, there’s two types of “blackouts” which can happen because of drinking. The first is a partial blackout, which can occur without too much drinking. This is when people to forget things that they normally would have no issue with. A complete blackout, meanwhile, is when you forget everything from when you were drinking.

Long-term memory

Our long-term memory can face impact through alcohol memory loss. Over time, those issues caused by drinking can become permanent. That means it becomes harder to commit things to memory, even when sober. Constant heavy drinking is also the number one cause of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome.

This syndrome is the result of a vitamin B1 deficiency, which is most common in those who drink too much. Among its symptoms are constant feelings of confusion, amnesia, and issues with long-term memory. This kind of drinking can even end up causing a person’s brain to reduce in size!