Study group spends £40,000 on proving that a hangover hurts

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The Independent Online

But this is no fantasy. Academics at Glasgow Caledonian University spent £40,000 proving that hangovers make you feel tired and impede concentration.

Some people found the study anything but amusing, accusing the Government quango concerned of wasting taxpayers' money.

Margaret Davidson, the chief executive of the Scottish Patients Association, a health campaign group, said: "This is a waste of public money that could be better spent on research to help people with alcohol problems."

The academics were given the grant by the Alcohol Education and Research Council (AERC) to research "whether having an alcohol-induced hangover impairs psychomotor and cognitive performance".

Seventy students were recruited; half were told to go out and enjoy themselves while the rest were ordered to maintain sobriety. The next morning they were asked to perform a variety of simple tasks. Unsurprisingly, the volunteers with hangovers performed worse than those who had not been drinking. They were also more likely to feel tired, had difficulty concentrating and couldn't drive as well. There was, however, no difference between the groups in short-term memory tests.

Dr Frances Finnigan, the psychologist who led the study, said: "Ours was a naturalistic hangover study while most research is carried out in laboratories."

The AERC was unavailable for comment, but Jack Law, the chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, insisted the work was important as it "provides scientific evidence for what we know anecdotally".