Alcoholics May Wobble Forever
Wobbly walking and clumsy moves are classic signs that someone's been drinking, and a new study suggests balance problems can afflict heavy drinkers for years after they sober up.
What's the Latest Development?
Researchers at Neurobehavioral Research Inc., in Honolulu, want to know how long the physical effects of alcoholism last. Scientists recently studied the balance abilities and gaits of diagnosed alcoholics who had been sober for several weeks, those who had been sober for an average of seven years, and people with no history of alcohol dependence. The researchers concluded that physical effects brought on by alcoholism can linger. "There's an 80 to 90 percent recovery, but there's still some residual effects," said the lead researcher.
What's the Big Idea?
The study's conclusion suggests there is a point of no return when it comes to alcohol and the brain. If nerve cells are too damaged, they cannot recover. Professionals hope this data will emphasize the point that alcohol addiction is a treatable disease: "A lot of people don't think about addictions as chronic medical illnesses, but they are in every way," said Dr. Kevin Hill, psychiatrist-in-charge at the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. Hill says some alcoholics may permanently lose their balance.
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Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
A new study, led by psychologist Jean Twenge, points to the screen as the problem.
- In a new study, adolescents and young adults are experiencing increased rates of depression and suicide attempts.
- The data cover the years 2005–2017, tracking perfectly with the introduction of the iPhone and widespread dissemination of smartphones.
- Interestingly, the highest increase in depressive incidents was among individuals in the top income bracket.
On Thursday, New Zealand moved to ban an array of semi-automatic guns and firearms components following a mass shooting that killed 50 people.
- Gun control supporters are pointing to the ban as an example of swift, decisive action that the U.S. desperately needs.
- Others note the inherent differences between the two nations, arguing that it is a good thing that it is relatively hard to pass such legislation in such a short timeframe.
- The ban will surely shape future conversations about gun control in the U.S.
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