Alcohol can cause alterations in the architecture and operation of the growing brain, which continues to grow into a person's mid 20s, and it might have consequences reaching far beyond teenage years.
In adolescence, brain development is defined by dramatic changes to the brain's architecture, neural connections ("electrical wiring"), and physiology. These changes in the brain alter everything from emerging sexuality to emotionality and cognitive ability.
Not all parts of the juvenile brain mature simultaneously, which may put a youth at a disadvantage in certain situations. For instance, the limbic areas of the brain develop quicker than the frontal lobes. The limbic areas manage emotions and are associated with an adolescent's lowered sensitivity to risk. The frontal lobes are accountable for self-regulation, judgment, reasoning, problem-solving, and impulse control. Differences in maturation among parts of the brain can lead to rash decisions or actions and a disregard for repercussions.
The way Alcohol Disturbs the Human Brain
Alcohol disturbs a juvenile's brain growth in many ways. The effects of underage drinking on specific brain activities are summarized below.
Alcohol is a central nervous system sedative. Alcohol can appear to be a stimulant because, initially, it suppresses the part of the human brain that regulates inhibitions.
CORTEX-- Alcohol hampers the cortex as it processes information from a person's senses.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When an individual thinks about something he desires his body to do, the central nervous system-- the brain and the spinal cord-- sends out a signal to that portion of the physical body. Alcohol reduces the central nervous system, making the individual think, speak, and move less quickly.
FRONTAL LOBES -- The brain's frontal lobes are very important for organizing, creating ideas, making decisions, and employing self-discipline.
A person might find it hard to manage his or her feelings and urges when alcohol impacts the frontal lobes of the brain. alcohol addiction might act without thinking or might even become violent. Drinking alcohol over a long period of time can harm the frontal lobes permanently.
HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the portion of the human brain in which memories are generated.
Once alcohol gets to the hippocampus, a person may have difficulty recollecting a thing she or he just learned, such as a person's name or a telephone number. This can happen after just a couple of drinks.
Drinking a lot of alcohol rapidly can trigger a blackout-- not having the ability to recall entire incidents, like what exactly he or she did last night.
An individual may find it difficult to learn and to hold on to information if alcohol damages the hippocampus.
CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is very important for coordination, to form thoughts, and focus. A person may have difficulty with these skills when alcohol gets in the cerebellum. After consuming alcohol, an individual's hands might be so unsteady that they cannot touch or grab things normally, and they might lose their equilibrium and fall.
HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a small part of the brain that does a fantastic variety of the body's housekeeping chores. Alcohol frustrates the work of the hypothalamus. After a person consumes alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, being thirsty, and the urge to urinate intensify while body temperature and heart rate decrease.
MEDULLA-- The medulla controls the physical body's unconscious actions, such as an individual's heartbeat. ptsd keeps the body at the best temperature level. Alcohol in fact cools down the physical body. Consuming alcoholism of alcohol outdoors in cold climates can trigger a person's body temperature to fall below its normal level. This hazardous condition is knowned as hypothermia.
An individual might have trouble with these abilities once alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After drinking alcohol, an individual's hands might be so unsteady that they can't touch or get hold of things normally, and they may lose their equilibrium and tumble.
After an individual drinks alcohol, blood pressure, appetite, being thirsty, and the desire to urinate increase while body temperature levels and heart rate decrease.
Alcohol in fact cools down the body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather can cause an individual's physical body temperature to drop below normal.