Heavy drinking can impair memory function

Studies have shown that heavy drinking can impair short-term and long-term memory and affect brain structure. There may be ways to reduce the impact of alcohol on memory by reducing alcohol consumption and using memory technology to overcome memory loss.

How alcohol affects memory

Memory is divided into retrospective (long-term) and prospective or working (short-term) memory. Retrospective memory is to remember all the events and plots that happened in our life.

Alcohol tends to affect short-term or prospective memory more frequently.Prospective memory is the daily brain function, especially remembering to complete daily activities.

Anyone forgets things from time to time. However, people who drink a lot of alcohol are more likely to have memory errors than people who do not drink at all or drink alcohol infrequently. These mistakes may include remembering whether they completed a task, such as locking the car or turning off the stove or forgetting where to put things.

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Other examples of impaired daily memory include:

  • Forgot to give my daughter a Parasitic Day greeting card on time
  • Forget what you want to say in the middle of the sentence
  • Forget about the storage of frequently used household items
  • Tell your friends a story you have told them


Alcohol hinders the brain’s ability to transfer information from short-term memory to long-term storage. It is like a transport truck that has deviated from the track on a route and will never reach its destination. Delivery has never been successful; one cannot remember things at all. These effects are most pronounced when a person is drunk.

People who regularly drink heavily can damage the brain structure called the hippocampus. It is essential for memory and learning, and heavy drinking can cause hippocampus to shrink.

A brain chemical system that is particularly sensitive to even small amounts of alcohol is called glutamate. Among other things, glutamate can affect memory and may cause some people to temporarily become “drowsy” or forget most of the things that happen at night during heavy drinking.

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Alcohol and memory

For published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, The researchers studied the amount of alcohol consumed and its effect on daily memory.Studies have shown that usually heavier drinkers report more than 30% more memory-related problems than those who do not drink alcohol, and nearly 25% more problems than those who claim to drink only small amounts of alcohol.

More specifically, people who reported high alcohol consumption in the study were more likely to miss important dates such as appointments and birthdays, or forget to pay their bills on time. Even when the people in the study stayed within healthy drinking limits, the researchers found a significant increase in memory loss.

Ways to restore memory

Researchers are looking for a variety of ways to help those who have experienced memory loss restore brain function. Future event simulation (FES) is a memory technique that involves strategies such as making links and indexing lists.A study Psychopharmacology Research in 2016 showed that FES helps people remember event-based tasks, but it cannot help people remember time-based tasks.

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Other reports from the National Institutes of Health indicate that abstaining from alcohol within a few months to a year may partially correct the changes in brain structure. Abstinence can also help reverse the negative effects on thinking skills, including problem solving, memory, and concentration.