Alcohol consumption can cause changes in the architecture and operation of the developing brain, which continues to mature into a person's mid 20s, and it may have consequences reaching far beyond adolescence.
In adolescence, brain growth is identified by dramatic modifications to the brain's structure, neural connections ("electrical wiring"), and physiology. These changes in the brain affect everything from developing sexuality to emotions and judgment.
alcoholic of the juvenile brain mature at the same time, which may put an adolescent at a disadvantage in particular circumstances. The limbic areas of the brain mature earlier than the frontal lobes.
How Alcohol Alters the Brain
Alcohol affects an adolescent's brain growth in numerous ways. The repercussions of adolescent drinking ">drinking on specific brain functions are detailed below.
alcoholic is a central nervous system sedative drug. Alcohol can appear to be a stimulant because, initially, it suppresses the portion of the brain that governs inhibitions.
CEREBRAL CORTEX-- Alcohol slows down the cortex as it works with information from an individual's senses.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When an individual thinks of something he wants 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 slows down the central nervous system, making the person think, communicate, and move more slowly.
FRONTAL LOBES -- The human brain's frontal lobes are important for planning, creating ideas, decision making, and employing self-control.
An individual may find it difficult to manage his or her feelings and urges once alcohol impairs the frontal lobes of the brain. The individual may act without thinking or might even get violent. Consuming alcohol over a long period of time can damage the frontal lobes forever.
HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the part of the brain in which memories are created.
When alcohol gets to the hippocampus, a person might have difficulty recalling a thing he or she just learned, like a name or a phone number. This can occur after just one or two drinks.
Drinking a lot of alcohol rapidly can trigger a blackout-- not having the ability to recall whole events, like what exactly he or she did the night before.
If alcoholic damages the hippocampus, a person might find it difficult to learn and to hold on to information.
CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is very important for coordination, thoughts, and attention. When alcohol enters the cerebellum, an individual might have trouble with these abilities. After drinking alcohol, a person's hands might be so shaky that they can't touch or take hold of things normally, and they may fail to keep their equilibrium and fall.
HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a little part of the brain that does an amazing number of the physical body's housekeeping chores. Alcohol frustrates the operation of the hypothalamus. After an individual consumes alcohol, blood pressure, appetite, being thirsty, and the need to urinate increase while physical body temperature and heart rate decrease.
MEDULLA-- The medulla manages the physical body's unconscious actions, such as a person's heartbeat. alcohol addiction keeps the physical body at the best temperature level. Alcohol actually cools down the physical body. Consuming a great deal of alcohol outdoors in chilly weather can cause a person's physical body temperature to fall below its normal level. This unsafe situation is called hypothermia.
A person may have trouble with these skills when alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After drinking alcohol, a person's hands may be so shaky that they can't touch or take hold of things properly, and they may fail to keep their equilibrium and tumble.
After an individual drinks alcohol, blood pressure, appetite, being thirsty, and the urge to urinate increase while body temperature and heart rate decrease.
Alcohol in fact chills the body. Consuming a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather conditions can cause a person's body temperature to fall below normal.