ConcentratedH2O, OM wrote:1) Why brain cells "especially"? "Regular damage" to any organ will kill.
2) You don't understand the word "poison". Table salt is essential for life. Its lack can kill in hours. It is also a poison; its usual timescale of effect just happen to be different from arsenic, cyanide, or whichever other Sherlockian compound you have in your little noggin. I think most of us can deal with the reality that acetaminophen (paracetamol) can turn from being a bringer of relief (a few hundred miligrams mitigating pain) to becoming a poison (several grams knocked back in an hour or two during a dark night of the soul).
Interesting. I would assume that he was familiar with the adage of the "does makes the poison" - just about anything can be toxic at high levels. It did make me look up what the effects are, and found a few interesting things I wasn't aware of.general info on alcohols effect on the brain
and this one on alcohols effect on the brain
, including this:
For decades scientists believed that the number of nerve cells in the adult brain was fixed early in life. If brain damage occurred, then, the best way to treat it was by strengthening the existing neurons, as new ones could not be added. In the 1960s, however, researchers found that new neurons are indeed generated in adulthood—a process called neurogenesis (29). These new cells originate from stem cells, which are cells that can divide indefinitely, renew themselves, and give rise to a variety of cell types. The discovery of brain stem cells and adult neurogenesis provides a new way of approaching the problem of alcohol–related changes in the brain and may lead to a clearer understanding of how best to treat and cure alcoholism (30).
For example, studies with animals show that high doses of alcohol lead to a disruption in the growth of new brain cells; scientists believe it may be this lack of new growth that results in the long–term deficits found in key areas of the brain (such as hippocampal structure and function) (31,32). Understanding how alcohol interacts with brain stem cells and what happens to these cells in alcoholics is the first step in establishing whether the use of stem cell therapies is an option for treatment (33).
I knew that brain cells regrew (or new ones were grown, to be specific), but not that alcohol inhibits this. If I remember correctly, it is partly a lack of oxygen due to the alcohol that can damage cells (that seems to be the case according to this
The brain is the organ that is most affected by alcohol, and proves that it is being damaged through the drinker's behavior changes and emotional distress. Three noticeable effects of alcohol injury to the brain: memory loss, confusion, and augmentation. (Augmentation is a physiological response to alcohol which results in hyper-alertness to normal situations, perceiving light as brighter or sounds as louder than usual, or the drinker’s becoming extremely sad or angry for no apparent reason.) The drinker's rapid mood swings and emotional and behavioral instability can be brought under control by stopping drinking.
Blackouts, or loss of memory for a period during drinking, are a physical effect of alcohol on the brain. They occur as alcohol cuts off the supply of oxygen to the brain. Lack of oxygen supply to the brain can kill tens of thousands of brain cells every time a person becomes intoxicated.
One effect of drinking alcohol is "blood-sludging" where the red blood cells clump together causing the small blood vessels to plug up, starve the tissues of oxygen, and cause cell death. This cell death is most serious, and often unrecognized, in the brain. With this increased pressure, capillaries break, create red eyes in the morning, or the red, blotchy skin seen on the heavy drinker's face. Blood vessels can also break in the stomach and esophagus leading to hemorrhage, even death.
Other effects of alcohol on the blood include: anemia; sedation of the bone marrow (which reduces the red and white blood count, and weakens the bone structure); lowered resistance to infection; and a decrease in the ability to fight off infections.
Maybe I don't have a doctorate in history, and I'm not an intellectual tour-de-force, but that seems to me to say that alcohol does lead to cell death. Am I missing something?
PZ Myers definition of irony - 8 October 2013 at 9:15 am (UTC -5) "You don’t get to simultaneously adopt a snide, superior tone AND claim that you’re a martyr"