You wake up in complete agony after last nights blackout.
Looking around, you realize you’re in a place that you’ve never been before.
Not being able to recall the events that transpired the night before.
Your breath smells of alcohol, and your clothes even worse, as you try to sneak yourself out of unfamiliar territory.
If you have had better friends, you might just have woken up in your place, on your sofa.
But alas, they don’t meet that cut.
You don’t know what’s happening, but you do know one thing – you’ve blacked out.
What is a Blackout?
Although it’s known that excessive drinking causes blackouts, contrary to what most people believe, blackouts don’t really occur due to brain cells being killed.
What’s really happening is that the excessive amount of alcohol intake that you experienced the night before, switches off the region in your brain that’s associated in the production of memories.
This means that it’s not really you not remembering – it’s simply that no memory was created for you to remember.
Yukito Izumi, a research professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine explains:
“According to our latest findings, what actually happens in a blackout is that exposure to alcohol results in an inhibition of some receptors, causing neurons to manufacture steroids inhibiting memory production.”
The team of researchers based their findings on the results of an experiment involving rats.
In this experiment, they treated the hippocampus cells of the rats with at first, moderate amounts of alcohol, and then with large amounts.
Whilst in moderation, memory areas were not affected, large amounts of alcohol caused the areas concerning memory to completely shut down.
Notable to say, is that it takes A LOT of alcohol to shut down the hippocampus.
However, the researchers note that once it’s shut down, there’s really no turning back.
They also explain that the amount of alcohol needed to shut down the hippocampus depends from person to person.
Meaning that depending on your alcohol tolerance, you might be more or less prone to blackouts.
However, when you do experience a blackout, chances are, you’re consuming way too much alcohol.
Bordering what could be considered as deadly.
Take it easy next time!
It might be fun to get drunk, but drinking loses its appeal to most people when you can’t remember what transpired the night before.
Don’t be THAT guy.
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