Alcohol consumption can cause changes in the architecture and function of the developing brain, which continues to grow into a person's mid 20s, and it may have consequences reaching far beyond teenage years.
In adolescence, brain growth is defined by remarkable changes to the brain's architecture, neuron connectivity ("circuitry"), and physiology. These changes in the brain disturb everything from developing sexuality to emotionality and judgment.
Not all parts of the juvenile brain mature concurrently, which might put an adolescent at a disadvantage in particular circumstances. For example, the limbic regions of the brain mature quicker than the frontal lobes. The limbic regions control emotions and are associated with an adolescent's lowered sensitivity to risk. The frontal lobes are responsible for self-regulation, judgment, reasoning, analytic skills, and impulse control. Variations in maturation amongst parts of the brain can lead to rash choices or actions and a disregard for repercussions.
Ways Alcohol Affects the Human Brain Alcohol alters a juvenile's brain growth in several ways. The consequences of minor drinking on specific brain activities are summarized below. Alcohol is a central nervous system sedative drug. Alcohol can appear to be a stimulant because, initially, it suppresses the part of the human brain that governs inhibitions.
CORTEX-- Alcohol reduces the cerebral cortex as it works with information from a person's senses.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When an individual thinks about something he desires his body to undertake, the central nervous system-- the brain and the spinal cord-- sends a signal to that portion of the physical body. Alcohol hinders the central nervous system, making the individual think, communicate, and move more slowly.
FRONTAL LOBES -- The brain's frontal lobes are important for advanced planning, forming ideas, decision making, and exercising self-control.
When alcohol impacts the frontal lobes of the brain, an individual may find it difficult to manage his/her feelings and impulses. The individual might act without thinking or may even become violent. Consuming alcohol over an extended period of time can harm the frontal lobes forever.
HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the part of the brain where memories are created. When alcohol gets to the hippocampus, an individual may have trouble remembering something he or she just learned, such as a person's name or a phone number. This can occur after just a couple of drinks. drinking a great deal of alcohol quickly can trigger a blackout-- not being able to recollect whole incidents, like what exactly she or he did the night before. A person might find it difficult to learn and to hold on to knowledge if alcohol harms the hippocampus.
CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is important for coordination, ideas, and attention. Once alcohol enters the cerebellum, a person may 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 normally, and they may lose their balance and tumble.
HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a small part of the brain that does an amazing number of the physical body's housekeeping chores. Alcohol frustrates the work of the hypothalamus. After a person drinks alcohol, blood pressure, appetite, thirst, and the impulse to urinate intensify while body temperature and heart rate decrease.
MEDULLA-- The medulla controls the physical body's automatic actions, like a person's heart beat. It likewise keeps the physical body at the best temperature level. Alcohol actually chills the physical body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather can trigger a person's physical body temperature level to drop below its normal level. This hazardous situation is termed hypothermia.
A person may have trouble with these skills when alcohol gets in the cerebellum. After consuming alcohol, a person's hands might be so tremulous that they can't touch or take hold of things normally, and they might lose their balance and fall.
After a person drinks alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the desire to urinate increase while body temperature and heart rate decline.
alcohol in fact chills the physical body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather conditions can cause a person's body temperature level to fall below normal.