Great News for Blackout Drunks!

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Science at work! It's possible that you're not losing brain cells when you drink yourself into oblivion, just erasing your memory of the drinking itself, which might mean someone should start apologizing to the makers of Four Loko:

Now, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, neuroscientists have identified the brain cells involved in blackouts and the molecular mechanism that appears to underlie them. They report July 6, 2011, in The Journal of Neuroscience, that exposure to large amounts of alcohol does not necessarily kill brain cells as once was thought. Rather, alcohol interferes with key receptors in the brain, which in turn manufacture steroids that inhibit long-term potentiation (LTP), a process that strengthens the connections between neurons and is crucial to learning and memory.

Alcohol: I knew the horrible things they were saying about you weren't true. I won't listen the next time the unkind words come up.

[The Awl]

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