Consuming Alcohol Can Cause Modifications In The Architecture And Operation Of The Blossoming Brain

Alcohol can trigger alterations in the structure and function of the growing brain, which continues to develop into an individual's mid 20s, and it might have repercussions reaching far beyond adolescence.

In adolescence, brain growth is characterized by remarkable changes to the brain's structure, neural connections ("circuitry"), and physiology. These transformations in the brain alter everything from emerging sexuality to emotionality and judgment.

Not all component parts of the juvenile brain mature simultaneously, which might put a juvenile at a disadvantage in specific circumstances. For instance, the limbic areas of the brain develop quicker than the frontal lobes. The limbic regions manage emotions and are associated with a juvenile's decreased sensitivity to risk. The frontal lobes are responsible for self-control, judgment, reasoning, analytic skills, and impulse control. Differences in maturation amongst parts of the brain can lead to careless choices or actions and a neglect for repercussions.

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How Alcohol Alters the Brain Alcohol affects a juvenile's brain development in numerous ways. The effects of adolescent alcohol consumption on particular brain activities are discussed below. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. Alcohol can seem to be a stimulant because, to begin with, it suppresses the portion of the human brain that manages inhibitions.

CEREBRAL CORTEX-- Alcohol impedes the cerebral cortex as it processes information from a person's senses.

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When a person thinks of something he wants his body to undertake, the central nervous system-- the brain and the spine-- sends a signal to that portion of the body. Alcohol slows down the central nervous system, making the person think, speak, and move slower.

FRONTAL LOBES -- The brain's frontal lobes are essential for organizing, creating concepts, decision making, and employing self-discipline.

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When alcohol impairs the frontal lobes of the human brain, an individual might find it difficult to control his or her feelings and impulses. The person 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 human brain in which memories are made. When alcohol gets to 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 drinks. Drinking a lot of alcohol quickly can cause a blackout-- not having the ability to recall whole incidents, like what exactly he or she did the night before. If alcohol injures the hippocampus, a person may find it tough to learn and to hang on to knowledge.

CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is very important for coordination, thoughts, and attention. An individual might have trouble with these skills when alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After consuming alcohol, an individual's hands might be so shaky that they cannot touch or get hold of things normally, and they may lose their balance and fall.

HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a little part of the brain that does an incredible number of the body's housekeeping tasks. Alcohol frustrates the work of the hypothalamus. After a person consumes alcohol, blood pressure, appetite, thirst, and the impulse to urinate increase while body temperature and heart rate decrease.

MEDULLA-- The medulla controls the body's automatic actions, such as a person's heartbeat. It also keeps the physical body at the best temperature. Alcohol actually chills the physical body. Consuming a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather can cause an individual's body temperature to drop below normal. This dangerous situation is knowned as hypothermia.

An individual might have trouble with these abilities when alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After consuming alcohol, a person's hands might be so unsteady that they can't touch or get hold of things properly, and they might fail to keep their balance and fall.

After an individual drinks alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the urge to urinate increase while body temperature and heart rate decrease.

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

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