There has been a long running rumour that alcohol kills your brain cells- mainly perpetuated by parents trying to keep their teens away from sculling Cruisers when they’re not home. It’s clear to see how the myth began- alcohol makes many people act like they’re out of their tree, making it easy to formulate the opinion that one drop of Jack Daniels can melt your brain. Couple this with the fact that younger brains have not been fully developed, and you get the rumour that drinking when you’re underage is the reason why we can’t have nice things.
Many studies, however, have found that alcohol doesn’t kill your brain cells- it simply reduces communication between neurons, which is the reason why drunk people suffer from impairment. In other words, drinking causes you to think climbing a tree is the best idea, not the reason why you’re not a neuroscientist. In most cases of drinking, symptoms of drunkenness are temporary, and in fact drinking in moderation can increase your cognitive function.
The truth behind the myth lies in the fact that heavy drinking over a long period of time does have negative effects. Alcoholism and heavy drinking can lead to brain damage and the long-term destruction of brain function, as well as brain atrophy. As there are still studies being conducted into the affect alcohol has on brain cell production, the key with drinking is to do it legally and in moderation.