medical expert discusses recent study.
So, are the findings of this study surprising?
Not particularly, it may seem. It’s no secret that problematic alcohol use can have devastating consequences. The adverse impacts of drinking are well known, and most healthcare professionals already espouse the belief that no amount of drinking, even what might appear to be fairly moderate, is safe.
If a drinker stops their alcohol consumption completely, can the damage to the brain heal over time or is it irreversible?
If you’re thinking about teetotaling, don’t be disheartened if you’ve been a drinker in the past. Encouragingly, many people experience significant recovery of function in association with various neurologic injury or related issues. Firmly adhering to a decision to continue drinking because the damage is already done is self-defeating and definitely not the right framework to apply to these types of findings.
Given the widespread media coverage of the study, is it possible many will be prompted to change their drinking habits?
I think the prospect of adverse neurological issues in connection with alcohol can definitely help spotlight the seriousness of certain drinking risks, though information alone is often insufficient for motivating such change.
The study has not been peer reviewed – what does this mean? Does it affect the outcome?
Why would a moderate drinker believe this latest study when previous studies have demonstrated the health benefits of moderate amounts of alcohol?
Many healthcare professionals would never endorse any level of alcohol consumption as being safe. A big concern in healthcare is that any perceived health benefits, such as certain protective cardiovascular effects in connection with moderate levels of drinking, have stemmed from observational studies, and may not reflect a causative relation. It’s because of this and the relatively overwhelming evidence for other types of adverse health effects that many healthcare professionals would never endorse any level of drinking to their patients as being safe.