17. Alcohol consumption kills brain cells

Alcohol consumption is associated with a variety of health issues, but the notion that alcohol kills brain cells is a myth. Moderate alcohol consumption does not kill brain cells, or even damage them. Heavy alcohol use can damage the brain, but that damage is not caused by cell death. Long-term, heavy drinking can damage the brain cells, but it doesn’t kill them.

Alcohol may not kill brain cells, but it does have potentially dangerous short-term and long-term effects on the body and the brain. Occasional and moderate drinkers can experience impaired memory, blackouts, impaired decision-making, and reckless behavior as a consequence of alcohol consumption. Heavy and long-term drinkers are susceptible to memory loss, reduced attention span, impaired visuospatial abilities, decreased brain size, difficulty with abstract thought, and a condition known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which causes brain lesions, double vision, drooping eyelids, uncontrolled eye movements, a loss of muscle coordination that can interfere with walking, memory loss, trouble forming new memories, hallucinations, and confusion which can lead to violent or combative behavior.

If you only drink occasionally, you likely don’t need to worry about killing your brain cells. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential short-term and long-term risks associated with alcohol consumption. Even slight intoxication can temporarily impair cognitive function and lead to poor decisions that you might not remember the next day.