Alcohol definitely has an effect on people in the neurological sense, however, do those effects have consequences for the next day, week, month, or year?
…is the impairment permanent or temporary? Some people believe that the consequences of drinking alcohol are far worse than a nasty hangover, that it can actually lead to brain damage because alcohol kills brain cells.
First, it help to understand what goes on when a person is impaired by alcohol.
It is not the brain cells themselves but the nerve connections between them (called dendrites) which are most affected by alcohol. The communication signals are inhibited, thus slowing down mental processing and the central nervous system.
So the good news is that a night of drinking will not kill your brain cells. The bad news is that long term binge drinking has many negative consequences, including neurological deficits. We’ll go into that in more detail at some point in the future.