Alcohol Consumption Can Cause Modifications In The Structure And Operation Of The Growing Brain

Alcohol consumption can cause modifications in the structure and operation of the blossoming brain, which continues to grow into an individual's mid 20s, and it might have consequences reaching far beyond teenage years.

In adolescence, brain growth is identified by remarkable modifications to the brain's structure, neural connections ("electrical wiring"), and physiology. These transformations in the brain alter everything from developing sexuality to emotions and judgment.

Not all component parts of the adolescent brain mature concurrently, which may put a juvenile at a disadvantage in specific circumstances. For example, the limbic areas of the brain develop quicker than the frontal lobes. The limbic areas manage emotions and are related to an adolescent's reduced level of sensitivity to risk. The frontal lobes are accountable for self-control, judgment, reasoning, problem-solving, and impulse control. Variations in maturation among parts of the brain can result in rash decisions or actions and a disregard for repercussions.

Ways Alcohol Alters the Human Brain Alcohol alters an adolescent's brain development in numerous ways. The results of juvenile drinking on specialized brain activities are discussed below. Alcohol is a central nervous system sedative. Alcohol can appear to be a stimulant because, at the start, it depresses the portion of the brain that manages inhibitions.

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

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When a person thinks of something he wants his body to do, the central nervous system-- the brain and the spinal cord-- sends a signal to that part of the physical body. Alcohol hinders the central nervous system, making the individual think, communicate, and move slower.

FRONTAL LOBES -- The human brain's frontal lobes are very important for planning, forming ideas, making decisions, and employing self-discipline.

An individual might find it hard to control his or her emotions and urges once alcohol impacts the frontal lobes of the brain. The individual may act without thinking or may even become violent. Drinking alcohol over a long period of time can harm the frontal lobes forever.

HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the part of the brain in which memories are made. When alcohol reaches the hippocampus, a person might have trouble recollecting a thing she or he just learned, such as a name or a telephone number. This can happen after just one or two drinks. Drinking a lot of alcohol rapidly can trigger a blackout-- not being able to remember entire occurrences, like what he or she did last night. If alcohol injures the hippocampus, an individual might find it difficult to learn and to hang on to information.

CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is important for coordination, thoughts, and attention. A person might have trouble with these abilities when alcohol gets in the cerebellum. After drinking alcohol, a person's hands might be so unsteady that they cannot touch or take hold of things properly, and they may lose their balance and tumble.

HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a little part of the brain that does a fantastic number of the physical body's housekeeping tasks. Alcohol upsets the operation of the hypothalamus. After an individual drinks alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the urge to urinate increase while body temperature and heart rate decline.

MEDULLA-- The medulla controls the body's unconscious actions, like an individual's heart beat. It also keeps the body at the right temperature level. Alcohol really chills the body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather can cause an individual's body temperature to fall below normal. This hazardous condition is termed hypothermia.

An individual might have difficulty with these skills once alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After drinking alcohol, a person's hands may be so shaky that they cannot touch or take hold of things properly, and they may fail to keep their equilibrium and fall.

After an individual drinks alcohol, blood pressure, appetite, thirst, and the desire to urinate increase while physical body temperature levels and heart rate decline.

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

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