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Needing to pee as distracting as being tipsy

Having a full bladder can have the same effect on attention and concentration as getting a little drunk or being sleep deprived, a new study has said.

Melbourne researchers won an Ig Nobel Prize for medicine for discovering that the need to go to the bathroom is as distracting as having a .05 blood-alcohol level or major sleep deprivation.

Caulfield Hospital's aged psychiatry research co-ordinator Dr Matthew Lewis said it had a negative effect on attention and memory.

The pilot study said that cognition remained 'relatively normal' until the point where a person absolutely positively' needed to go to the toilet, News.com.au reported.

At that point, the level of impairment was the same as being slightly tipsy or being awake for 24 hours. Such a full bladder also reduced the speed at which drivers could make decisions. The study has been published in the Neurology and Urodynamics journal.

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