Alcohol Can Cause Modifications In The Growing Brain

Alcohol consumption can trigger alterations in the structure and operation of the growing brain, which continues to mature into a person's mid 20s, and it might have repercussions reaching far beyond teenage years.

In adolescence, brain development is characterized by remarkable modifications to the brain's structure, neural connections ("electrical wiring"), and physiology. These transformations in the brain affect everything from developing sexuality to emotions and cognitive ability.

Not all component parts of the juvenile brain mature simultaneously, which might put an adolescent at a disadvantage in certain circumstances. For example, the limbic areas of the brain develop earlier than the frontal lobes. The limbic regions control feelings and are related to an adolescent's reduced level of sensitivity to risk. The frontal lobes are responsible for self-control, judgment, reasoning, problem-solving, and impulse control. Differences in maturation among parts of the brain can result in impulsive decisions or acts and a disregard for consequences.

The way Alcohol Disturbs the Human Brain Alcohol alters an adolescent's brain development in numerous ways. The effects of adolescent drinking on particular brain functions are summarized below. Alcohol is a central nervous system sedative. Alcohol can appear to be a stimulant because, at the start, it depresses the part of the human brain that manages inhibitions.

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

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When a person thinks of something he wants his body to undertake, the central nervous system-- the brain and the spine-- sends out a signal to that part of the body. Alcohol hinders the central nervous system, making the individual think, speak, and move less quickly.

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

Once alcohol impairs the frontal lobes of the brain, an individual might find it difficult to manage his/her feelings and impulses. The person may act without thinking or might even get violent. Drinking alcohol over an extended period of time can injure the frontal lobes forever.

HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the portion of the human brain where memories are made. When alcohol gets to the hippocampus, a person might have difficulty recalling something she or he just learned, such as a name or a phone number. This can occur after just a couple of alcoholic beverages. Drinking a great deal of alcohol rapidly can trigger a blackout-- not being able to recall entire events, like what she or he did last night. If alcohol injures the hippocampus, an individual might find it difficult to learn and to hang on to knowledge.

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

HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a little part of the brain that does a fantastic variety of the physical body's housekeeping tasks. Alcohol frustrates the work of the hypothalamus. After a person consumes alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the urge to urinate increase while physical body temperature and heart rate decline.

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

A person may have difficulty with these abilities when alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After drinking alcohol, an individual's hands might be so tremulous that they cannot touch or grab things normally, and they may lose their equilibrium and tumble.

After a person drinks alcohol, blood pressure, appetite, thirst, and the urge to urinate increase while physical body temperature levels and heart rate decrease.

Alcohol actually chills the body. Consuming a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather can trigger an individual's physical body temperature to drop below normal.

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