Drinking Alcohol can Reduce Brain Damage in Head-Injury Patients

People who have consumed small amounts of alcohol before suffering a head injury are 24% less likely to die than are those who had been abstaining or not drinking.

Research scientists at the University of Toronto report that  it is not simply the immediate damage to the brain from a serious head injury that causes problems but the after-effects such as inflammation and swelling that lead to additional damage to brain tissues. This “secondary brain injury” can disable or kill the patient. However, small amounts of alcohol in the system reduce the extent of secondary brain damage.

The scientists report that alcohol might become part of the emergency treatment for some head injury patients if they lack adequate alcohol in their bodies.



  • ien, H. C. N., et al. Association between alcohol and mortality in patients with severe traumatic head injury. Archives of Surgery, 2006, 141, 1185-1191.

Filed Under: Brain and Alcohol