It is commonly believed that it is the large amount of consumed alcohol by itself that leads to brain injury in alcoholics, said principal investigator Dieter J. Meyerhoff, a professor of radiology at the University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco VA Medical Center.
This is only partly correct. In previous studies, we have shown that alcoholics who smoke cigarettes have greater brain injury than nonsmoking alcoholics. This new study suggests that a high BMI, independent of drinking and smoking, is also associated with brain injury.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines excessive drinking by two sub categories: heavy drinking and binge drinking. Heavy drinking is more than one daily alcoholic drink for women, and more than two drinks for men. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men.