Blood alcohol concentration at 0.06 and 0.10% causes a complex multifaceted deterioration of body movement control.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Alcohol-related falls are recognized as a major contributor to the occurrence of traumatic brain injury. The control of upright standing balance is complex and composes of contributions from several partly independent mechanisms such as appropriate information from multiple sensory systems and correct feedback and feed forward movement control. Analysis of multisegmented body movement offers a rarely used option for detecting the fine motor problems associated with alcohol intoxication. The study aims were to investigate whether (1) alcohol intoxication at 0.06 and 0.10% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) affected the body movements under unperturbed and perturbed standing; and (2) alcohol affected the ability for sensorimotor adaptation. Body movements were recorded in 25 participants (13 women and 12 men, mean age 25.1 years) at five locations (ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, and head) during quiet standing and during balance perturbations from pseudorandom pulses of calf muscle vibration over 200s with eyes closed or open. Tests were performed at 0.00, 0.06, and 0.10% BAC. The study revealed several significant findings: (1) an alcohol dose-specific effect; (2) a direction-specific stability decrease from alcohol intoxication; (3) a movement pattern change related to the level of alcohol intoxication during unperturbed standing and perturbed standing; (4) a sensorimotor adaptation deterioration with increased alcohol intoxication; and (5) that vision provided a weaker contribution to postural control during alcohol intoxication. Hence, alcohol intoxication at 0.06 and 0.10% BAC causes a complex multifaceted deterioration of human postural control.

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  • Substance Abuse
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-88
JournalAlcohol
Volume46
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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Related research output

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