Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol can be bad for one’s health. Most people decide to adopt a policy of moderation rather than a policy of abstinence, especially when it comes to alcohol. Occasionally, however, something prompts us to re-evaluate our lifestyle and think about making changes.
Memory loss can be one of those things that make us stop and think about our health. Everyone experiences little memory glitches every now and then, but if you find them occurring with more and more frequency, it’s time figure out what’s going on.
For many people, the guilty party will eventually turn out to be alcohol. Even if you don’t drink a lot, alcohol has a cumulative effect on the brain. Scientists have determined that one binge drinking session that leads to a blackout can cause life long memory loss. Though the body develops a tolerance to the effects of alcohol, the brain never does. The brain actually forms a sort of allergy. Over time, smaller and smaller amounts of alcohol can lead to memory loss and even total blackouts.
Though smoking initially gives you a quick boost of energy and can actually improve short-term concentration and memory, its long-term effects more than offset any advantage. Smoking mainly affects memory by reducing the amount of oxygen reaching your brain. When one smokes, carbon monoxide is inhaled. This poisonous gas hinders the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. This along with the effects of reduced lung capacity and cardiovascular efficiency can quickly lead to diminished brain function and thus memory loss.