Alcohol consumption can cause alterations in the architecture and function of the growing brain, which continues to develop into a person's mid 20s, and it might have consequences reaching far beyond adolescence.
In adolescence, brain growth is characterized by dramatic modifications to the brain's structure, neural connections ("circuitry"), and physiology. These transformations in the brain alter everything from emerging sexuality to emotions and judgment.
Not all parts of the juvenile brain mature at the same time, which may put an adolescent at a disadvantage in particular circumstances. The limbic areas of the brain mature earlier than the frontal lobes.
The way Alcohol Affects the Brain Alcohol alters an adolescent's brain growth in several ways. The consequences of adolescent alcohol consumption on particular brain functions are detailed below. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. Alcohol can appear to be a stimulant because, at the start, it suppresses the part of the brain that manages inhibitions.
CORTEX-- Alcohol slows down the cortex as it processes details from an individual'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 out a signal to that portion of the body. Alcohol slows down the central nervous system, making the person think, communicate, and move more slowly.
FRONTAL LOBES -- The brain's frontal lobes are very important for advanced planning, creating ideas, decision making, and employing self-discipline.
When alcohol impairs the frontal lobes of the human brain, an individual may find it tough to manage his or her emotions and urges. The person might 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 in which memories are created. Once alcohol reaches the hippocampus, an individual may have difficulty recollecting something she or he just learned, such as a name or a telephone number. This can take place after just a couple of drinks. Drinking a lot of alcohol quickly can cause a blackout-- not being able to recollect whole occurrences, such as what exactly she or he did the night before. If alcohol injures the hippocampus, a person may find it tough to learn and to hang on to information.
CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is essential for coordination, ideas, and focus. Once alcohol goes into the cerebellum, a person might have difficulty with these skills. After drinking alcohol, a person's hands may be so unsteady that they cannot touch or get hold of things normally, and they may fail to keep their equilibrium and fall.
HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a little part of the brain that does a remarkable variety of the physical body's housekeeping tasks. Alcohol frustrates the operation of the hypothalamus. After an individual consumes alcohol, blood pressure, appetite, thirst, and the need to urinate increase while physical body temperature and heart rate decrease.
MEDULLA-- The medulla manages the body's unconscious actions, like a person's heartbeat. It also keeps the physical body at the best temperature level. Alcohol actually cools down the physical body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in chilly weather can trigger an individual's body temperature level to drop below normal. This harmful situation is knowned as hypothermia.
A person might have trouble with these abilities once alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After drinking alcohol, an individual's hands might be so tremulous that they cannot touch or get hold of things normally, and they might fail to keep their equilibrium and fall.
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 actually chills the body. Consuming a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather conditions can cause a person's physical body temperature level to fall below normal.