How alcohol causes blackouts and affects memories

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RESTRICTIONS: Broadcast: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN Digital: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN
RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Depiction of how blood alcohol concentration is measured
2. Depiction of blood alcohol level at which blackouts occur
3. Depiction of memory consolidation in the hippocampus
4. Depiction of synapses passing signals
5. Depiction of neurotransmitters activating receptors
6. Depiction of alcohol increasing GABA activity, leading to no long-term memory storage
7. Depiction of fragmentary and en bloc blackouts
8. Consequences of high blood alcohol levels

VOICEOVER (in English):

"Blood alcohol concentration refers to the amount of alcohol present in the bloodstream, measured by the weight of ethanol, in grams, per 100 milliliters of blood."

"Blackouts can occur when the alcohol level in the blood reaches 0.20, which on average is about 4 drinks for women, and 5 for men. To understand how, we need to first look at memory consolidation."

"In the hippocampus, short-term memories are converted into long-term ones through the persistent strengthening of synapses, a process known as long-term potentiation."

"These synapses pass signals through neurotransmitters like glutamate and gamma aminobutyric acid, or GABA. For a signal to fire, the receiving neuron must have a higher positive charge."

"Glutamate binds to neuroreceptors and opens it for positive ions, triggering signal firing. GABA, meanwhile, allows in negative ions, which momentarily blocks this action."

"Alcohol increases GABA activity, causing it to inhibit signals more often and longer than usual. This prolonged depressant effect impacts consolidation, preventing long-term storage of memories."

"Alcoholic blackouts may be fragmentary, in which memory loss is partial, or en bloc, in which stretches of time are completely missing from a person's memory."

"Complete blackouts occur around 0.30 BAC. By 0.35, individuals could go into a coma, and at 0.40, the concentration is lethal, typically killing half of all adults who reach it."