Dr James Schaller
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Binge Drinking and Brain Effects

The rush of the toxic alcohol during binge drinking has some surprising effects. Since binge drinking is common in some settings, especially in high school and college settings, the topic is very important. Events like graduations, spring breaks, senior weeks or intense despair drinking may be particularly dangerous.

  1. Binge drinking can cause strokes.
  2. Brain vessels are jerked around by binge drinking alcohol -- both constricting and dilating.
  3. Alcohol reduces magnesium levels in neurons in mammals for at least 2 weeks. Meaning, you may have a vulnerability to migraines, muscle spasms and uterine cramps at an increased rate two weeks after heavy drinking.
  4. A hangover with headaches and dizziness may be due to rapid decreases in intracellular magnesium.
  5. Alcohol in the middle of a woman's hormone cycle when she is most fertile from an estrogen spike adds to the risk of a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

My appreciation for the interesting research of Dr. BM Altura and Dr. BT Altura at the State University of New York (Dept. of Physiology -- Health Sciences Center).

James L. Schaller, MD, MAR
Naples, FL


Bank Towers, Tamiami Trail, Naples, FL
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