A recent study from the Researchers of Neurobehavioral Research Inc., have found a correlation with previous alcoholics and permanent balance problems.
The study looked at three different groups. The first group consisted of alcoholics that had been sober for a few months. The second group consisted of alcoholics that had been sober for an average of seven years. The third group had no history of being dependent on alcohol. All three groups were put through the same tasks, which included various balance and sobriety tests.
More than 200 volunteers participated and the results were highly correlated with the group’s alcohol history. The 52 people that were never alcoholics performed the best overall, especially on exercises with their eyes closed. The 82 long-sober volunteers performed much worse than the non-alcoholic group, but better than the recently sober alcoholic group. The 70 recently sober alcoholics performed the worst in all exercises.
The researchers speculate that alcohol has a long-term effect on the cerebellum of the brain and this greatly effects muscle coordination. These effects generally wane with time, but full balance may not ever be fully recovered. For the most part, the balance problems that are permanent are not clinically significant, so there may be some “rust” so to speak, but nothing that is life crippling.