159527 Effects of heavy drinking on next-day neurocognitive performance

Monday, November 5, 2007

Alissa Almeida, MPH , Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Jonathan Howland, PhD , Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Damaris Rohsenow, PhD , Center of Alcohol and Addictions Studies, Brown University, Providence, RI
Todd Arnedt, PhD , Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Jacey Greece, MPH , Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Carrie Kempler, MPH , STD/HIV/AIDS Surveillance Epidemiolgy and Research Section, Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Sara Minsky, MPH , Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Donald Allensworth-Davies, MSc , Data Coordinating Center, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Background: Residual effects the day after heavy drinking may cause cognitive and physical impairment in functions critical to safety-sensitive occupations. Methods: We conducted a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study of effects of heavy drinking (mean BrAC 0.11 g% 0.01) on next-day sustained attention/reaction time (psychomotor vigilance test- PVT), neurocognitive performance (neurobehavioral evaluation system-NES3), and subjective performance (self-report questionnaires). Participants were 97 healthy current students or recent graduates from Boston-area colleges (60 women, mean age 24.8 2.7 years). Participation included evening beverage consumption of alcohol (high or low congener) or placebo (counterbalanced), and testing the following morning when BrAC was at zero. Sleep was assessed with polysomnography. Results: The morning following alcohol, PVT median reaction time (ms) was significantly slower than under placebo conditions (230.8 31.6 vs. 221.2 24.6, p < .0001). Change scores for NES3 testing showed a significant deficit in visuospatial information processing (0.3 1.2, p < .05) and an increase in anger (0.1 0.5, p < .05) on a mood scale. Participants also self-reported greater impairment in performance on the post-alcohol mornings (p < 0.0001). Significant differences were observed on several measures of sleep architecture and continuity, indicating greater sleep disturbance following alcohol. Further analyses will evaluate beverage congener and sleep disturbance as possible mediators of cognitive outcomes. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that heavy drinking may affect next-day reaction time, visual perception, and mood state, even when blood alcohol is at zero. These findings could have implications for alcohol-related, occupational regulations.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the effects of heavy alcohol consumption on next day attention/reaction time 2. Define the impact of hangover on neurocognitive processes

Keywords: Alcohol Use, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.