Alcohol Can Cause Modifications In The Architecture And Function Of The Growing Brain

Alcohol consumption can trigger modifications in the structure and function of the blossoming brain, which continues to develop into an individual's mid 20s, and it may have repercussions reaching far beyond adolescence.

In adolescence, brain growth is characterized by remarkable changes to the brain's architecture, neural connections ("electrical wiring"), and physiology. These transformations in the brain disturb everything from developing sexuality to emotions and judgment.

Not all parts of the juvenile brain mature at the same time, which might put an adolescent at a disadvantage in particular situations. The limbic areas of the brain develop earlier than the frontal lobes.

The way Alcohol Alters the Human Brain
Alcohol alters a juvenile's brain development in several ways. The results of minor alcohol consumption on specific brain functions are detailed below.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. Alcohol can appear to be a stimulant because, at the start, it depresses the part of the human brain that regulates inhibitions.

CORTEX-- Alcohol impedes the cortex as it works with details from an individual's senses.

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When an individual thinks about something he wants his body to undertake, the central nervous system-- the brain and the spinal cord-- sends a signal to that portion of the physical body. Alcohol impedes the central nervous system, making the individual think, speak, and move more slowly.

FRONTAL LOBES -- The brain's frontal lobes are very important for advanced planning, creating ideas, decision making, and employing self-control.

An individual may find it difficult to manage his or her emotions and urges once alcohol impacts the frontal lobes of the brain. The person may act without thinking or may even get violent. Consuming alcohol over a long period of time can injure the frontal lobes permanently.

HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the part of the human brain where memories are generated.
When alcohol reaches the hippocampus, a person might have trouble remembering something he or she just learned, such as a name or a telephone number. This can occur after just a couple of alcoholic beverages.
Drinking a lot of alcohol quickly can cause a blackout-- not having the ability to recollect whole happenings, such as what he or she did the night before.
An individual may find it tough to learn and to hold on to information if alcohol injures the hippocampus.

CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is very important for coordination, ideas, and attention. Once alcohol goes into the cerebellum, an individual may have trouble with these abilities. After consuming alcohol, a person's hands may be so shaky that they cannot touch or get hold of things properly, and they may fail to keep their equilibrium and fall.

HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a little part of the brain that does a remarkable variety of the physical body's housekeeping tasks. Alcohol frustrates the work of the hypothalamus. After an individual consumes alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, being thirsty, and the impulse to urinate increase while body temperature level and heart rate decrease.

MEDULLA-- The medulla manages the physical body's automatic actions, such as a person's heartbeat. It also keeps the body at the right temperature. Alcohol in fact cools down the body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather can cause an individual's physical body temperature to drop below normal. This dangerous situation is termed hypothermia.

An individual may have difficulty with these skills when alcohol enters the cerebellum. After drinking alcohol, an individual's hands might be so tremulous that they cannot touch or take hold of things normally, and they may lose their equilibrium and fall.


After a person alcoholic beverages alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the urge to urinate increase while body temperature levels and heart rate decrease.

Alcohol in fact cools down the body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather conditions can trigger an individual's body temperature to drop below normal.


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