Only Two Drinks Can Slow Elder Reactions

NIJMEGEN, Netherlands, Sept. 24 (UPI) — Two single vodka and orange drinks can slow reactions in seniors, researchers in the Netherlands and the United States suggest.

Judith Hegeman led a team of researchers at Sint Maartenskliniek in Nijmegen, Netherlands, who found just two drinks were enough to cause senior volunteers to struggle when walking through an obstacle avoidance test.


The study, published in BioMedCentral Research Notes, involved 13 healthy men and women — average age 61.5 years.

The researchers asked the volunteers to walk on a treadmill. Once they had attained a steady walking pace, a thin wooden block was placed at the far end of the belt and allowed to move toward the volunteer.

Ingesting alcohol had an effect on how capable the study subjects were of stepping over the wooden block.

“We found that alcohol levels, considered to be safe for driving, seriously hamper the ability to successfully avoid sudden obstacles in the travel path,” Hegeman says in a statement. “A possible limitation of this study is the relatively small sample size, however even with the small number, it yielded an unequivocal outcome.”

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