New Insights into Alcohol-Induced Blackouts
Neuroscientists have unlocked the secret behind alcohol-induced amnesia, otherwise known as a blackout, which can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.
According to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, consuming large amounts of alcohol does not necessarily destroy brain cells as once believed.
Instead, alcohol interferes with certain receptors in the brain, which then produce steroids that hinder long-term potentiation (LTP), a process that strengthens neuron connections and is critical for learning and memory.
The mechanism involves NMDA receptors that transmit glutamate, which carries signals between neurons, says Yukitoshi Izumi, MD, PhD, research professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
An NMDA... [via Psych Central]