Alcohol Consumption Can Trigger Changes In The Structure And Function Of The Developing Brain

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

In adolescence, brain growth is defined by remarkable modifications to the brain's architecture, neuron connectivity ("electrical wiring"), and physiology. These changes in the brain alter everything from developing sexuality to emotions and cognitive ability.

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

Ways Alcohol Disturbs the Brain Alcohol disturbs an adolescent's brain growth in several ways. The effects of minor alcohol consumption on specialized brain activities are discussed below. Alcohol is a central nervous system sedative drug. Alcohol can seem to be a stimulant because, to begin with, it depresses the part of the human brain that manages inhibitions.

CORTEX-- Alcohol hampers the cortex as it processes details from an individual's senses.

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When a person thinks of something he desires his body to do, the central nervous system-- the brain and the spinal cord-- sends out a signal to that part of the physical body. Alcohol hampers the central nervous system, making the individual think, converse, and move more slowly.

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

An individual may find it difficult to control his or her emotions and urges when alcohol affects the frontal lobes of the brain. The individual might act without thinking or may even get violent. Consuming alcohol over an extended period of time can harm the frontal lobes permanently.

HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the part of the brain in which memories are created. When alcohol gets to the hippocampus, a person might have trouble recalling a thing she or he just learned, like a person's name or a telephone number. This can occur after just one or two alcoholic beverages. Drinking a lot of alcohol rapidly can trigger a blackout-- not being able to recall entire occurrences, such as what she or he did last night. A person might find it difficult to learn and to hold on to information if alcohol injures the hippocampus.

CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is very important for coordination, ideas, and attention. When alcohol gets in the cerebellum, an individual might have difficulty with these skills. After consuming alcohol, a person's hands might be so unsteady that they cannot touch or get hold of things properly, and they might lose their balance and fall.

HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a small part of the brain that does a remarkable variety of the physical body's housekeeping chores. Alcohol upsets the operation of the hypothalamus. After a person consumes alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the impulse to urinate intensify while body temperature and heart rate decrease.

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MEDULLA-- The medulla manages the physical body's automatic actions, such as an individual's heart beat. It likewise keeps the body at the best temperature level. Alcohol really chills the physical body. Consuming a great deal of alcohol outdoors in chilly weather can cause an individual's physical body temperature to fall below normal. This harmful situation is called hypothermia.

An individual may have difficulty with these abilities once alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After drinking alcohol, a person's hands may be so shaky that they cannot touch or get hold of things normally, and they might lose their equilibrium and fall.

After a person drinks alcohol, blood pressure, appetite, being thirsty, and the desire to urinate increase while physical body temperature levels and heart rate decline.

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Alcohol in fact cools down the body. Consuming a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather can cause an individual's physical body temperature to fall below normal.

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