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    Does alcohol affect recovery?

    Question via email:

    dr.young,does occasional intake of alcohol alter the course of SCI?

    #2
    You mean if I drink more I might walk? Cool
    C5/6 incomplete

    "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by RehabRhino
      You mean if I drink more I might walk? Cool

      Haven't you ever heard of Johnnie Walker?

      Comment


        #4
        Occasional small amounts of alcohol shouldn't affect the recovery. Some say beer cures/helps UTI. I have not read any research so I have no comment.
        Some medications can not be taken with alcohol due to interactions, absorption problems.

        CWO
        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

        Comment


          #5
          alcohol

          I would like to recommend non-alcoholic beer as something to aid in prevention of UTI's. I didn't know there was such a thing before this SCI occured. Since my brother started a regime of non-alcoholic beer, his UTI's have seemingly gotten a little better. Of course he wouldn't drink the cranberry juice like he does the beer, so that might be why the cranberry juice didn't do too much for his particular case. He drinks a six pack every other day, although I'm told just one or two a day would be the norm. But what can it hurt, except for a possible weight gain - there's no alcohol in it for a buzz.

          As far a drinking a "real beer", what the SCI nurse told you above about mixing alcohol w/medications is something to contend with. It could cause you much harm depending on what you're taking orally.

          Just some thoughts....
          Vickie

          Comment


            #6
            I'll drink if it'll speed up my recovery. Hehe ...

            This one T6 para I met out in California has recovered walking. He tells me the "secret" is smoking a lot of crystal meth.
            Daniel

            Comment


              #7
              I drink one beer a night either Keiths or Guiness,i have for years...i have no bladder infections,my BP is spot on like clock work 1 accident in the fast 4yrs and im healthy and happy...ALL HAIL BEER! CHEERS!

              My Dr told me a beer,glass o wine or stiff drink a night can be beneficial for ones health and well being.....but i dont take any kinds meds at all,so is answer might have been different if i was.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Shaun
                I drink one beer a night either Keiths or Guiness,i have for years...i have no bladder infections,my BP is spot on like clock work 1 accident in the fast 4yrs and im healthy and happy...ALL HAIL BEER! CHEERS!

                My Dr told me a beer,glass o wine or stiff drink a night can be beneficial for ones health and well being.....but i dont take any kinds meds at all,so is answer might have been different if i was.
                Same here but I didn't catch it when the doctor said "one". And no meds for me either. Almost none in the last 20 years.
                "It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

                Comment


                  #9
                  As with any use of alcohol in large amounts, keep in mind that alcohol is a poison for your body. We have many years of evidence of excessive use of alcohol causing brain damage and peripheral neuropathies, so you can probably extrapolate that data to see that healing of your spinal cord would not be helped by alcohol. Keep intake to small, occasional amounts if your concern is the health of your central and peripheral nervous system, and improvement of potential for healing in this area.

                  (KLD)
                  The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm sure one of the beer companies would be more than happy to sponsor a study .. if they only knew .. lol.
                    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

                    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Jeff Weeks
                      Question via email:

                      dr.young,does occasional intake of alcohol alter the course of SCI?
                      Jeff,

                      Alcohol, as you know, is ethanol and an intoxicant. At high doses, it depresses neuronal excitability In low doses, it suppresses certain populations of inhibitory neurons (resulting in disinhibiton and a general feeling of release). In higher doses, it starts to affect the vestibular and motor control system, including walking. Finally in very high doses, it shuts down the brain.

                      When ingested, alcohol is acted upon in the liver by an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase. This enzyme breaks down alcohol to aldehyde. The aldehyde is what causes the flushing of the face, the nausea, and the itchy skin that some people have after drinking alcohol. The aldehyde itself is further broken down by an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase.

                      People who are missing the aldehyde dehydrogenase get red very quickly and also get sick. People who are missing the alcohol dehydrogenase get drunk very easily, on small amounts of alcohol. About a third of Chinese and Japanese don't have the aldehyde dehydrogenase and turn very red when they drink. About 10% are missing the alcohol dehydrogenase and the American Indians lack this enzyme, and they get drunk very easily.

                      So the question to ask is what effect alcohol has on recovery of function. Jeff, if you remember, a group of undergraduate students in the laboratory studied this question once several years ago. We used rats from the alcohol center and then examined whether rats that were on chronic alcohol or acute alcohol made any difference their lesion volumes. If I remember, the study suggested that chronic alcohol did make the lesion volumes bigger but this may be because the rats also lost weight and were metabolically less healthy. It was difficult to rule out the nutritional effects of alcohol.

                      There is a great deal of literature on the effects of alcohol on fetuses, i.e Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Alcohol has terrible toxic effects on developing fetuses. Even in relativel low concentrations, it causes death of neurons. Fetuses that develop in alcoholic mothers that drink during their pregnancy are often born severely retarded. This may very well be an effect of alcohol on stem cells. There are many studies on this subject.

                      On the other hand, modest use of alcohol, particularly wines, have been touted to be beneficial for health and prolongs life. It is hard to distinguish between the science and the advertisement. But, there have been repeated studies that report that a glass or two or wine reduces the incidence of stroke or heart attacks. It is difficult to know whether this is due to alcohol or some other ingredient in the drink.

                      In my opinion, much has been blamed on alcohol over the centuries, often by people who advocate prohibition of alcohol. It is true that alcoholics often develop brain damage, including severe memory loss and confabulation. However, it is unclear whether this is due to the alcohol itself or other toxic materials that are often in cheap alcoholic drinks. Images of the brain have shown actual shrinkage of the brain after years of heavy drinking http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/brain/a/aa000425.htm but I am skeptical about attributing this to ethanol alone.

                      There is no question, however, that alcohol does impair memory. In particular, it interferes with the ability of the brain to formnew memories. That is one of the reasons why people who are drunk often cannot remember what they did, even they engaged in fairly intensive goal-directed behaviors such as sexual intercourse and driving. Alcohol has relatively little effect on memories that are already engrained and hence the person's behavior may seem normal. The magnitude of memory impairment is dose-dependent. http://www.duke.edu/~amwhite/Blackouts/index.html

                      Perhaps the most convincing studies of alcohol effects on the brain come from animal studies. In 2004, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reported that abstinence from chronic alcohol consumption leads to a burst of new cell formation in the brain (Source). The same group had earlier reported that neurodegeneration in rats (Source). But, I want to emphasize that all these animal models involve very high level of alcohol, considerably higher than ones that even drunks usually attain.

                      As the following abstract from Nutritional Neuroscience pointed out, long term abuse of alcohol may lead to dementia and a condition called Wernicke-Korsakoff's syndrome. Heaving drinking also is a risk factor for strokes. However, light to moderate drinking may be paradoxically associated with a reduced risk of stroke and brain damage:
                      Nutr Neurosci. 2005 Apr;8(2):111-20
                      Risk of dementia and alcohol and wine consumption: a review of recent results.

                      The term dementia refers to a clinical syndrome of acquired intellectual disturbances produced by brain dysfunction. Dementia may result from a wide variety of disorders, including degenerative (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, AD), vascular (e.g. multi-infarct dementia), and traumatic (e.g. head injury). Long-term abuse of alcohol is related to the development of the Wernicke-Korsakoff’s syndrome or alcohol dementia. However, light to moderate alcohol intake might also reduce the risk of dementia and AD. In Bordeaux (France), a populationbased prospective study found that subjects drinking 3 to 4 standard glasses of wine per day (> 250 and up to 500 ml), categorized as moderate drinkers, the crude odds ratio (OR) was 0.18 for incident dementia (p < 0.01) and 0.25 for Alzheimer’s disease (p < 0.03), as compared to the non-drinkers. After adjusting for age, sex, education, occupation, baseline cognitive performances and other possible confounders, the ORs were respectively 0.19 (p < 0.01) and 0.28 (p < 0.05). In the 922 mild drinkers (< 1 to 2 glasses per day) there was a negative association only with AD. after adjustment (OR = 0.55; p < 0.05). The inverse relationship between moderate wine drinking and incident dementia was explained neither by known predictors of dementia nor by medical, psychological or socio-familial factors. These results were confirmed from data of the Rotterdam study. Light-to-moderate drinking (one to three drinks per day) was significantly associated with a lower risk of any dementia (hazard ratio 0.58 [95% CI 0.38-0.90]) and vascular dementia (hazard ratio 0.29 [0.09-0.93]). No evidence that the relation between alcohol and dementia varied by type of alcoholic beverage was found. Stroke constitutes one of the most common causes of serious functional impairment in developed countries. Ischaemic strokes represent about 80% of all strokes. Several studies have been published and the overall conclusion is that heavy drinking is a risk factor for most stroke subtypes. Regular light to moderate drinking seemed to be associated with a decreased risk for ischaemic stroke.
                      Apparently, low concentartions of alcohol increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic (BDNF) and other factors in the brain. Rats that are allowed to imbibe alcohol freely have higher levels of brain growth factors (Source. The scientists also found out that when they blocked the effects of BDNF, the rats drank more alcohol.

                      It is interesting that these effects of modest alcohol intake may be not unlike those of lithium, i.e. stimulation of neurotrophic factor production by the brain. This may be one of the reasons why alcohol has been so popular a drink for humans since the genesis of agriculture and the discovery of fermentation. It helps reduce depression.

                      Wise.

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                        #12
                        I know it can make your disablity worse

                        * give you the sh--ts
                        * increase weight gain
                        * expand your bladder etc.
                        * alcohol and meds. can stop your heart (be careful)

                        If you drink, drink in moderation
                        Lynarrd Skynyrd Lives

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                          #13
                          ....................
                          Last edited by Leif; 18 Jul 2006, 5:46 PM.

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                            #14
                            I remember in the At-home rehab Majed was in, his PT told him that drinking (prolly more like in large amts. but anyway) can slow the healing process of the spinal cord and/or nerves (ie. Peripheral Nerves).

                            I think she may have just been trying to get Majed NOT to drink DURING THERAPY!!! hahah.......

                            but im not sure.

                            Interesting thread tho.
                            Every morning, he woke up
                            fondling the orange watermelon.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              beer? alcohol?

                              Hmmm. I wouldn't think that a drink a day would be contraindicative to recovery... As for UTIs, I am genetically predisposed to the darn things! I have 4-5 UTIs a year, and just think if I had a SCI! Yikes! I have ~1 alcoholic drinks per day and I am doing well, knock on wood! I find that the problems occur when I am extremely busy (eg. not being able to run to the bathroom frequently, fully empty my bladder or drink my adaquate amounts of water). I can almost predict when I am headed toward an infection.

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