Alcohol Use Can Trigger Modifications In The Growing Brain

Alcohol can cause modifications in the architecture and function of the growing brain, which continues to develop into an individual's mid 20s, and it may have repercussions reaching far beyond teenage years.

In adolescence, brain development is characterized by dramatic modifications to the brain's architecture, neural connections ("electrical wiring"), and physiology. These transformations in the brain disturb everything from emerging sexuality to emotions and judgment.

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Not all parts of the juvenile brain mature simultaneously, which may put an adolescent at a disadvantage in specific scenarios. The limbic regions of the brain mature earlier than the frontal lobes. The limbic areas manage emotions and are associated with an adolescent's decreased level of sensitivity to risk. The frontal lobes are responsible for self-control, judgment, reasoning, analytic skills, and impulse control. Variations in maturation amongst parts of the brain can result in careless choices or acts and a disregard for repercussions.

The way Alcohol Disturbs the Brain Alcohol affects a juvenile's brain growth in several ways. The effects of adolescent drinking on particular brain functions are detailed below. Alcohol is a central nervous system sedative drug. Alcohol can seem 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 processes details from an individual's senses.

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When a person thinks about something he wants his body to do, the central nervous system-- the brain and the spine-- sends a signal to that part of the body. Alcohol hampers the central nervous system, making the person think, communicate, and move more slowly.

FRONTAL LOBES -- The brain's frontal lobes are very important for organizing, forming concepts, making decisions, and employing self-control.

Once alcohol impacts the frontal lobes of the human brain, an individual may find it difficult to manage his or her emotions and urges. The individual might act without thinking or may even get violent. Drinking alcohol over a long period of time can damage the frontal lobes forever.

HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the part of the brain where memories are generated. Once alcohol reaches the hippocampus, a person may have trouble remembering a thing she or he just learned, like a name or a telephone number. This can take place after just one or two alcoholic beverages. Drinking a lot of alcohol rapidly can cause a blackout-- not having the ability to recall entire incidents, like what she or he did the night before. If alcohol injures the hippocampus, a person might find it hard to learn and to hold on to information.

CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is necessary for coordination, ideas, and awareness. Once alcohol goes into the cerebellum, an individual might have difficulty with these skills. After drinking alcohol, a person's hands might be so unsteady that they cannot touch or take hold of things normally, and they might lose their balance and tumble.

HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a little part of the brain that does an incredible number of the physical body's housekeeping chores. Alcohol upsets the work of the hypothalamus. After an individual drinks alcohol, blood pressure, appetite, being thirsty, and the need to urinate intensify while physical body temperature level and heart rate decline.

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

A person may have trouble with these abilities once alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After drinking alcohol, an individual's hands might be so unsteady that they can't touch or take hold of things normally, and they may lose their balance and tumble.

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

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

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