Alcohol can trigger changes in the architecture and operation of the growing brain, which continues to develop into an individual's mid 20s, and it may have repercussions reaching far beyond teenage years.
In adolescence, brain growth is defined by dramatic 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 adolescent brain mature at the same time, which might put an adolescent at a disadvantage in specific scenarios. The limbic regions of the brain develop earlier than the frontal lobes.
Ways Alcohol Affects the Human Brain
Alcohol disturbs a juvenile's brain growth in numerous ways. The results of juvenile alcohol consumption on specialized brain activities are discussed below.
Alcohol is a central nervous system sedative. Alcohol can appear to be a stimulant because, before anything else, it suppresses the portion of the human brain that controls inhibitions.
CORTEX-- Alcohol impedes the cortex as it works with information from a person's senses.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When a person thinks of something he desires his body to do, the central nervous system-- the brain and the spinal cord-- sends a signal to that portion of the body. Alcohol hinders the central nervous system, making the person think, communicate, and move more slowly.
FRONTAL LOBES -- The human brain's frontal lobes are essential for advanced planning, creating concepts, decision making, and exercising self-control.
medication for alcoholism might find it hard to manage his or her emotions and urges once alcohol affects the frontal lobes of the brain. The person may act without thinking or may even become violent. Consuming alcohol over an extended period of time can injure the frontal lobes permanently.
HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the portion of the human brain in which memories are made.
When alcohol reaches the hippocampus, a person might have difficulty recollecting something she or he just learned, like a person's name or a phone number. This can occur after just one or two drink s.
Drinking a great deal of alcohol quickly can cause a blackout-- not being able to recall entire incidents, like what he or she did the night before.
An individual might find it tough to learn and to hold on to information if alcohol injures the hippocampus.
CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is important for coordination, ideas, and attention. An individual might have trouble with these abilities when alcohol enters the cerebellum. After consuming alcohol, a person's hands may be so unsteady that they can't touch or take hold of things properly, and they might lose their equilibrium and tumble.
HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a small part of the brain that does a remarkable variety of the 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 automatic actions, such as a person's heartbeat. It also keeps the body at the right temperature. Alcohol actually chills the body. Drinking a great deal of alcohol outdoors in chilly weather can cause a person's body temperature to fall below its normal level. This harmful situation is termed hypothermia.
An individual may have difficulty with these skills when alcohol enters the cerebellum. After consuming alcohol, a person's hands may be so unsteady that they can't touch or get hold of things properly, and they might lose their equilibrium and fall.
After an individual alcoholic beverages alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the urge to urinate increase while body temperature and heart rate decrease.
Alcohol actually cools down the physical body. Consuming a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather conditions can trigger an individual's body temperature to fall below normal.