Page last updated: June 2, 2016
Individual differences, not just the quantity you drink, influences risk of blackout

Scientists from the Research Society on Alcoholism reviewed 26 studies on alcohol-induced blackouts published in the past five years. The authors state that identifying the factors that contribute to and result from alcohol-induced blackouts is critical in developing effective prevention programmes.

The updated review (2010 to 2015) of clinical research focuses on alcohol-induced blackouts, outlines practical and clinical implications, and provides recommendations for future research.

Twenty-six studies reported on alcohol-induced blackouts. Fifteen studies examined prevalence and/or predictors of alcohol-induced blackouts. Six publications described the consequences of alcohol-induced blackouts, and 5 studies explored potential cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced blackouts. The authors conclude that recent research on alcohol-induced blackouts suggests that individual differences, not just alcohol consumption, increase the likelihood of experiencing an alcohol-induced blackout, and the consequences of alcohol-induced blackouts extend beyond the consequences related to the drinking episode to include psychiatric symptoms and neurobiological abnormalities.

Prospective studies and a standardised assessment of alcohol-induced blackouts are needed to fully characterise factors associated with alcohol-induced blackouts and to improve prevention strategies, the authors conclude.

Source: Alcohol-Induced Blackouts: A Review of Recent Clinical Research with Practical Implications and Recommendations for Future Studies. Reagan R. Wetherill and Kim Fromme. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Volume 40, Issue 5, pages 922–935, May 2016.



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