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Alcohol and Memory Loss

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Seriously, yesterday , I was pissed. All I remember is some of my frens took me back to my room. I don't even remember who they were. I don't remember what made them take me back. Its seriously freaking me out, cos i just woke up, and dont have any memory of what happened yesterday. I remember only one bit. A rubbish bin on the side of the bed and my frens saying if i needed to puke just roll over to the side. oh yeah, also found a helpful pint of water on my table.

 

Can someone explain this type of memory shutdown or lockdown during extreme alcohol consumption. Is there any way of recovering this data eg. thinking hard enough.....

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Can someone explain this type of memory shutdown or lockdown during extreme alcohol consumption. Is there any way of recovering this data eg. thinking hard enough.....

 

unlikely. although it sometimes might come up in pieces after a while.

the shutdown is most likely due to an over stimulation of neurons.

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It's happened to me a few times, and the memories have never come back to me.

 

Maybe something extreme like hypnosis would work?

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I'd say hypnosis is a possibility, though I don't know much about it.

If your consious mind is shut down, but your subconcious is still functioning, I think there may be memories stored (your subconcious is in charge of that anyway). Then again, I don't think your body was too concerned about recording memories last night - I think it was preoccupied with removing the poison from your body.

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Alcohol is a supressive. It supresses neural function. Unless you are a chronic alcoholic (in which case memory disfunction is likely due to Korsakoff's psychosis), the most likely explanation for your memory loss, is that you simply did not encode the memories in the first place.

 

Reliable memory formation requires that you register events, understand them and can relate them in a meaningful way to existing knowledge. When you're that pissed, you cannot focus on events, nor really understand them. You have little real grasp on what's going on. All you encode is a blurred set of images and snatches of meaning that don't relate to each other as your attention wanders randomly. These can't be recalled well, as they don't carry much meaningful information. So, you never lost the memory of events, you just didn't form it completely in the first place.

 

As an aside, there is a thing called context sensitive learning (although the evidence for it is somewhat shakey). Chances are that if you get pissed again today, you will be able to reconstruct a bit more of last night's events.

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Well, one night at a party I got completely plastered. My memory just kicked out a bit after 9:00pm, and didn't kick back in until i woke up on my fiends couch the next morning.

 

That night I did several things. First, I hit on any female close to me. One actually made out with me, however it was one I absoultly hate. After a bit I am told I got up, said "fuck this" and walked away, leaving her crying. Which made me feel a bit better.

 

I couldn't walk, and at one point I apparently said "where the grass and the gravel meet, follow it to the end, and you shall find people there" I suppose I meant. "someone is by the driveway" but I will never be sure.

 

And a cop came. At this point I was laying on the ground. He asked "are you alright there" I replied no, then threw up.

 

All of this I have no memory of at all. Now the thing is, after being told about this over and over again, I visualize these events, so when I think about them I "see" them. After a while this starts to feel like real memory. But then I may get a piece of information that I didn't have before, so I realize that it wasn't just a memory, just me visualizing it. So even if after a while you start to remember, it may not be actual memory.

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I have lost many a memorys to booze, and to this day cant remember them even when my mates reminded me of what i had done......of which im never proud off:(

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I rarely lose much memory from alcohol, no matter how much I drink.

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Just be glad you were in the company of people who wouldn't take advantage of your blackout.

 

I read about a study connecting binge drinking with brain damage later on in life but I can't find the link. doh.

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']am told I got up' date=' said "fuck this" and walked away,

 

[/quote']

 

Are swear words not removed anymore?I though you couldnt swear.... :-(

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Just be glad you were in the company of people who wouldn't take advantage of your blackout.

 

maybe they did and they just havent told me. hehe. what could they do to me anyway.

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You really need to be told?........your worst nightmares

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maybe they did and they just havent told me. hehe. what could they do to me anyway.

Are any of your friends gay by any chance... :P

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What I find amazing (to me anyways) is that you actually have to ask that question. My ethics wouldn't let me do somthing like that.

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Are any of your friends gay by any chance... :P

not that i know off, i am sure it can't have been THAT bad hehe

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What I find amazing (to me anyways) is that you actually have to ask that question. My ethics wouldn't let me do somthing like that.

 

rofl, i was going to same the same thing as well.

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Korsakoff's is essentially a type of degenerative brain condition characterised by anterograde amnesia and is (as far as I recall) caused by Vitamin B1 deficiency related to alcoholism or long-term alcohol abuse. Anterograde amnesia is the loss of the ability to form new memories (loss off short-term memory). Retrograde amnesia is losing memories you already have (loss of long-term memory).

 

It is recognised as forgetfulness and confusion (in varying degrees) and sometimes vision impairment and disorientation accompanying long-term alcohol abuse, and characterised by confabulation.

 

Confabulation is where the person will make up stories to account for sections of their recent past. It is not lying. The person has no idea, but because it's very distressing to have large holes in your memory, and to not be able to account for where you were or what you were doing at a given point in time, the person confabulates; i.e. makes up ficticious events, based on what was most probable, to fill in the holes. In most cases, they believe what they are saying, because it is (to them) the most likely, and they have nothing else to go on. If you present then with solid evidence that refutes what they have said (e.g. a video of them somewhere else, doing something else), they tend to get very distressed. Not because they have been caught in a lie, but because it undermines their grasp on reality, such as it is.

 

A problem with Korsakoff's is that it is extremely hard to define an onset time. By the time the symptoms appear in sufficient force for clinical diagnosis, the condition may have been present for some considerable time.

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Dammit! That post was a response to a question from YT asking what is Korsakoff's psychosis and how can it be recognised, but by the time I posted the answer, the question had gone! What the pants is going on?

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Lol, maybe he's going for a reverse psychology lesson/thing? :D

 

That's good info you've posted, nonetheless.

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Glider, the information on Korsakoff's psychosis was very informative - especially the part about the B1 deficiency. My dad was an alcoholic for many years, he had pernicious anemia - B12 deficiency. I read an article somewhere that stated there is a connection between pernicious anemia and alcoholism, but I never knew precisely what it was. Do you?

 

Dad was diagnosed with "alcoholic dementia" - is that the same thing? He certainly confabulated all the time. (I love that word.)

 

I think the most amazing thing was that although he didn't know doodly most of the time, he retained some mathmatical and mechanical ability.

 

We used to play "21" all the time. When he was hospitalized I took a deck of cards when I visited him. He kept forgetting the rules of the game, but when it came time to count his cards, he could look at them and instantaneously tell you the number.

 

Another time, my mother sent him to the garage to get in groceries. She then realized he had been gone some time and asked me to retrieve him. I found him sitting in the car with her cell phone (the old box kind) totally disassembled in his lap. He had taken it apart without the benefit of so much as a screwdriver. When I asked him why he dismantled the cell phone, he said, "What? This? I didn't do it." He had no recollection whatsoever. Enough to make one go on the water wagon.

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True enough. It's very scary to see someone with that degree of memory impairment.

As for the link between pernicious anaemia and alcohol, I'm afraid I don't know. My area is more on the effects of physiological distubance on psychology, so medical conditions are a bit outside my area. However, I do know that alcohol interferes with the uptake of many vitamins, so alcoholism is a factor in a variety of vitamin deficiency related conditions, so it seems perfectly reasonable to me that alcoholism would be a factor in pernicious anaemia. I'd have to look it up to be certain though.

 

Yes, "Alcoholic dementia" is another term for Korsakoffs' syndrome.

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This was really interesting by you Glider and also Coquina! Really nice knowing! So in other words if u get a lack of B1 or B12 then u might get the same problems as an alcoholic.. not stricktly speaking but u might get som of short term loss ?!

 

Nice stories there by u guys! Too bad for me i have always remebered most of my nice drunk adventures :(

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The effect of alcohol is really wierd. At very low concs it is a suppressant, at low concentrations it acts as a neurostimulant, but as the concentration increases even further it becomes a neuro-suppressant again! Kind of explains why you pass out when you are totally pissed at 2 am, but still wake up at 6 am. And how having one pint in the afternoon makes you tired, but drinking another seems to wake you up a bit. Bizzare

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