We all know that drinking a lot makes you stupid.
What we don't really know is if there's an antidote to this mental decline. Now a Southern California professor and her research partner from the University of Colorado at Boulder claim there just might be:
Well, that or any other form of good, old-fashioned aerobic exercise.
In research headed for publication in a summer edition of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, UC San Diego's Susan F. Tapert and Colorado grad student Hollis C. Karoly concluded that such exercise can reverse the ravaging effects of getting wasted all the time.
(And, uh, by the looks of things, Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan need to run a marathon or two.)
The pair notes that regular and heavy drinking can lead to neural damage “that looks similar to the decline in neurocognitive functioning,” according to a summary of the study.
In other words, you lose it faster.
Unless … you run, jog, dance or do other cardiovascular exercise regularly. Then maybe you've found the gin-infused fountain of youth.
They looked at 37 men and 23 women who used the hooch heavily and found that those who also exercised had healthier white matter in their brains.
This suggests that individuals who have experienced alcohol-related brain problems could possibly use exercise to help recover those effects; studying people over time will tell us if this is in fact the case.
Sounds like the jury's still out. We're going for a quick jog today just in case.