Effects of a persistent binge drinking pattern of alcohol consumption in young people: a follow-up study using event-related potentials

AIMS: The objective of this study was to examine brain activity related to visual attention processes in youths who had maintained a binge drinking (BD) pattern of alcohol consumption for >2 years.

METHODS: The participants were 57 university students (26 binge drinkers: BDs) with no personal or family history of alcoholism or psychopathological disorders in first-degree relatives. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants performed a visual oddball task (twice within a 2-year interval). The latency and amplitude of the P3b component of the ERPs were analysed.

RESULTS: The P3b amplitude was larger in young BDs than in aged-matched controls at both evaluation times, and the difference was more pronounced after 2 years of maintenance of a BD pattern of consumption. The larger P3b amplitude was associated with an earlier onset of regular drinking and with a greater quantity and intensity of consumption.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that young BDs exhibit anomalies in neural activity involved in attentional/working memory processes, which increase after 2 years of maintenance of BD. This anomalous neural activity may reflect underlying dysfunctions in neurophysiological mechanisms as well as the recruitment of additional attentional/working memory resources to enable the binge drinkers to perform the task adequately.

Additional Info

  • Authors:

    Lopez-Caneda,E.; Cadaveira,F.; Crego,A.; Doallo,S.; Corral,M.; Gomez-Suarez,A.; Rodriguez,Holguin S.

  • Issue: Alcohol Alcohol / pages 464-471 / volume 48
  • Published Date: 2013/7
  • More Information:

    For more information about this abstract, please contact
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Deutsche Weinakademie GmbH

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