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"Bond isn't going to be downing three or four martinis, and then winning a fight with five guys," Swartzwelder tells Shots. "He might be starting the fights, but he's not winning them." The old saw that every drink kills lots of brain cells isn't true, Swartzwelder says. "But chronic drinking does damage neurons and brain circuits over time," he says. "And there are parts of the brain that you don't want to damage if you're an international spy." First off, chronic alcohol abuse can injure the cerebellum, the brain region involved with coordination, Swartzwelder says. "It allows you to string together a series of athletic movements." "If Bond is pickling his cerebellum on a regular basis, he's not going to be able to learn fight sequences, jump through windows and shoot at the same time or even learn those dance sequences with his girlfriend," he says. The second brain region damaged by years of heavy drinking is the hippocampus, Swartzwelder says. Shaped like a little sea horse, the hippocampus is dedicated to forming new memories. "It is very sensitive to the effects of alcohol," he says. "Bond wouldn't be able to remember all those names, card numbers at poker games or even all his girlfriends' phones numbers if his hippocampus wasn't working correctly. "Believe me," Swartzwelder says. "Bond wouldn't have been doing the things that we he was doing in those movies if he drank as much as the study found."
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