Alcohol consumption can cause alterations in the structure and function of the blossoming brain, which continues to mature into a person's mid 20s, and it may have consequences reaching far beyond teenage years.
In adolescence, brain development is defined by remarkable changes to the brain's structure, neural connections ("circuitry"), and physiology. These changes in the brain disturb everything from developing sexuality to emotions and cognitive ability.
Not all portions of the juvenile brain mature concurrently, which might put a juvenile at a disadvantage in certain circumstances. The limbic areas of the brain mature earlier 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, problem-solving, and impulse control. Differences in maturation among parts of the brain can result in impulsive decisions or actions and a neglect for consequences.
How alcohol Affects the Human Brain Alcohol alters an adolescent's brain growth in numerous ways. The consequences of underage alcohol consumption on specialized brain functions are discussed below. Alcohol is a central nervous system sedative. Alcohol can appear to be a stimulant because, to begin with, it suppresses the part of the human brain that manages inhibitions.
CORTEX-- Alcohol reduces the cerebral cortex as it works with details from an individual's senses.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When an individual thinks of something he wants his body to do, the central nervous system-- the brain and the spine-- sends out a signal to that portion of the physical body. Alcohol slows down the central nervous system, making the individual think, converse, and move less quickly.
FRONTAL LOBES -- The brain's frontal lobes are essential for organizing, forming ideas, decision making, and using self-control.
Once alcohol impacts the frontal lobes of the brain, a person may find it tough to control his/her emotions and urges. The individual might act without thinking or may even become violent. Consuming alcohol over an extended period of time can damage the frontal lobes forever.
HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the portion of the brain where memories are made. When alcohol gets to the hippocampus, a person may have difficulty remembering something he or she just learned, such as a name or a phone number. This can happen after just one or two drinks. Drinking a great deal of alcohol rapidly can trigger a blackout-- not being able to recall whole incidents, like what she or he did the night before. If alcohol damages the hippocampus, a person might find it hard to learn and to hang on to information.
CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is essential for coordination, ideas, and focus. A person might have trouble with these abilities once alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After consuming alcohol, a person's hands might be so unsteady that they cannot touch or take hold of things properly, and they might fail to keep their equilibrium and tumble.
HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a small part of the brain that does an incredible number of the body's housekeeping tasks. Alcohol frustrates the work of the hypothalamus. After an individual drinks alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the impulse to urinate intensify while body temperature and heart rate decrease.
MEDULLA-- The medulla manages the body's automatic actions, like a person's heartbeat. It likewise keeps the body at the ideal temperature level. Alcohol really chills the physical body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather can cause an individual's physical body temperature to drop below normal. This harmful situation is termed hypothermia.
A person might have trouble with these abilities once alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After consuming alcohol, an individual's hands might be so shaky that they cannot touch or take hold of things properly, and they may lose their balance and fall.
After a person drinks alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, being thirsty, and the desire 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 can cause an individual's body temperature to drop below normal.