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Can hormones affect memory and tolerance to alcohol?

  1. May 28, 2004 #1
    I have noticed that on days 28-4 my memory is awful. I have also noticed that during this period if I consume alcohol, I seem become intoxicated rapidly, and forget things much more than I normally would drinking the same amount. I tried to look at charts, but could not really work out a reason, as during this phase all the hormone levels are low. I found some research that suggests that oestrogens may affect memory in post menopausal women, but wondered if you knew anything more specific to my query? This is purely out of interest, I do not have any exams or classes for biology...
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2004 #2


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    There are quite a few studies that support the hypothesis that estrogens can facilitate memory and learning, so when you are at a stage of the cycle when ovarian steroids are low, memory can be affected. I'm not as certain about any links between steroids and the effects of alcohol, though it makes some sense since in general, many drugs of abuse act through the same brain pathways as hormonal influences on reproductive behaviors and the rewarding properties of those behaviors. I'm just answering off-the-cuff here, so don't have references on hand to provide to you. It's also possible the low levels of steroids alter liver function, thus making alcohol metabolism slower.
  4. May 29, 2004 #3
    thanks! I feel a little more sane now.. I think maybe you are right about the liver function being altered, I hadnt thought of that but the oral contraceptive pill has known affects on the liver doesnt it?
    Thanks again,
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