Alcohol consumption can cause changes in the structure and operation of the growing brain, which continues to grow into a person's mid 20s, and it might have consequences reaching far beyond adolescence.
In adolescence, brain growth is characterized by remarkable modifications to the brain's structure, neural connections ("circuitry"), and physiology. These transformations in the brain affect everything from emerging sexuality to emotions and cognitive ability.
Not all portions of the adolescent brain mature simultaneously, which might put a juvenile at a disadvantage in particular circumstances. For example, the limbic areas of the brain develop earlier than the frontal lobes. The limbic regions control emotions and are connected with a juvenile's reduced level of sensitivity to risk. The frontal lobes are accountable for self-regulation, judgment, reasoning, problem-solving, and impulse control. Differences in maturation amongst parts of the brain can result in rash decisions or actions and a neglect for consequences.
The way Alcohol Disturbs the Brain Alcohol affects a juvenile's brain growth in numerous ways. The results of underage alcohol consumption on particular brain functions are detailed below. Alcohol is a central nervous system sedative. Alcohol can seem to be a stimulant because, to begin with, it suppresses the portion of the brain that controls inhibitions.
CEREBRAL CORTEX-- Alcohol reduces the cerebral cortex as it works with information from an individual's senses.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When an individual thinks about 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 body. Alcohol hinders the central nervous system, making the individual think, communicate, and move less quickly.
FRONTAL LOBES -- The human brain's frontal lobes are very important for organizing, forming ideas, making decisions, and employing self-discipline.
When alcohol impairs the frontal lobes of the brain, a person might find it difficult to control his/her feelings and impulses. The individual may act without thinking or might even become violent. Drinking alcohol over a long period of time can damage the frontal lobes forever.
HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the part of the human brain where memories are created. Once 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 a couple of drinks. drinking a lot of alcohol rapidly can cause a blackout-- not having the ability to recollect whole incidents, such as what exactly he or she did the night before. An individual might find it difficult to learn and to hold on to information if alcohol injures the hippocampus.
CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is very important for coordination, ideas, and attention. Once alcohol enters the cerebellum, a person might have trouble with these abilities. After drinking alcohol, an individual's hands might be so shaky that they cannot touch or take hold of things properly, and they may fail to keep their balance and tumble.
HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a little part of the brain that does a remarkable variety of the physical body's housekeeping tasks. Alcohol upsets the work of the hypothalamus. After a person drinks alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the impulse to urinate intensify while physical body temperature level and heart rate decline.
MEDULLA-- The medulla controls the physical body's automatic actions, like a person's heartbeat. It also keeps the physical body at the best temperature level. Alcohol actually chills the physical body. Consuming a lot of alcohol outdoors in chilly weather can trigger an individual's body temperature to fall below its normal level. This hazardous condition is termed hypothermia.
An individual may have difficulty with these abilities once alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After consuming alcohol, an individual's hands might be so unsteady that they can't touch or get hold of things normally, and they may fail to keep their equilibrium and fall.
After a person drinks alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, being thirsty, and the urge to urinate increase while body temperature levels and heart rate decline.
Alcohol actually chills the body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather conditions can trigger a person's physical body temperature level to drop below normal.