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

Alcohol can trigger alterations in the structure and operation of the blossoming brain, which continues to develop into an individual's mid 20s, and it may have consequences reaching far beyond adolescence.

In alcoholism , brain development is defined by remarkable changes to the brain's architecture, neuron connectivity ("electrical wiring"), and physiology. These transformations in the brain affect everything from emerging sexuality to emotions and cognitive ability.

Not all component parts of the juvenile brain mature at the same time, which might put a juvenile at a disadvantage in specific circumstances. For example, the limbic areas of the brain mature quicker than the frontal lobes. The limbic areas manage feelings and are related to an adolescent's decreased sensitivity to risk. The frontal lobes are responsible for self-regulation, judgment, reasoning, problem-solving, and impulse control. Variations in maturation among parts of the brain can lead to careless decisions or actions and a neglect for consequences.

Ways Alcohol Alters the Brain
Alcohol affects a juvenile's brain growth in numerous ways. The results of juvenile drinking on particular brain activities are explained below.
Alcohol is a central nervous system sedative. Alcohol can appear to be a stimulant because, initially, it suppresses the part of the human brain that governs inhibitions.

CEREBRAL CORTEX-- Alcohol hampers the cerebral cortex as it works with 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 spinal cord-- sends out a signal to that portion of the body. Alcohol hinders the central nervous system, making the individual think, speak, and move slower.

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

Once alcohol impairs the frontal lobes of the brain, an individual might find it difficult to control his or her feelings and urges. The person might act without thinking or may even get violent. Consuming alcohol over a long period of time can damage the frontal lobes forever.

HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the portion of the human brain where memories are created.
Once alcohol reaches the hippocampus, an individual may have difficulty remembering something she or he just learned, such as a name or a phone number. This can happen after just one or two alcoholic beverages.
Drinking a great deal of alcohol quickly can trigger a blackout-- not having the ability to remember entire events, like what she or he did last night.
If alcohol injures the hippocampus, an individual might find it hard to learn and to hold on to knowledge.

CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is very important for coordination, to form thoughts, and focus. An individual may have trouble with these skills when alcohol gets in the cerebellum. After consuming alcohol, an individual's hands may be so shaky that they cannot touch or grab things properly, and they may fail to keep their equilibrium and fall.

HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a little part of the brain that does an amazing variety of the physical body's housekeeping chores. Alcohol upsets the operation of the hypothalamus. After a person drinks alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, being thirsty, and the impulse to urinate intensify while body temperature and heart rate decline.

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

An individual might have trouble with these skills when alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After drinking alcohol, a person's hands might be so unsteady that they can't touch or get hold of things normally, and they may lose their equilibrium and tumble.

After an individual drinks alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, being thirsty, and the urge to urinate increase while body temperature 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.