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Study Sheds Light On Why Alcohol-Energy Drinks Lead To Risky Behavior

December 7, 2009: 08:23 AM EST
The danger of consuming “alcohol-energy” drinks, whose popularity is soaring among young people, is becoming well known. Even the FDA is considering a crackdown, thanks to an increase in alcohol-related behavioral problems. But why? researchers wondered. In experiments with mice, scientists found that alcohol blocks caffeine’s ability to make the animals more anxious, while caffeine does not reverse alcohol’s negative effect on learning. Because the alcohol-caffeine beverages hamper general cognitive ability, people are more likely to believe they are not drunk or not impaired enough to have problems functioning. The result? Drunk-driving citations, sexual misconduct, and visits to emergency rooms.
Danielle Gulick & Thomas J. Gould, "Interactive effects of ethanol and nicotine on learning, anxiety, and locomotion in C57BL/6 mice in the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task", Neuropharmacology, December 07, 2009, © Elsevier Ltd
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