Alcohol can cause alterations in the architecture and operation of the blossoming brain, which continues to develop into a person's mid 20s, and it may have repercussions reaching far beyond adolescence.
In adolescence, brain growth is defined by dramatic changes to the brain's architecture, neuron connectivity ("circuitry"), and physiology. These changes in the brain alter everything from developing sexuality to emotions and cognitive ability.
Not all parts of the adolescent brain mature at the exact same time, which might put a juvenile at a disadvantage in particular circumstances. The limbic areas of the brain develop sooner than the frontal lobes.
How Alcohol Disturbs the Human Brain
Alcohol affects a juvenile's brain growth in many ways. ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE WITH HEAVY DRINKING . . .
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The effects of juvenile alcohol consumption on specific brain activities are discussed below.
Alcohol is a central nervous system sedative. Alcohol can seem to be a stimulant because, initially, it suppresses the part of the human brain that governs inhibitions.
CEREBRAL CORTEX-- Alcohol hinders the cortex as it works with information from an individual's senses.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM-- When an individual thinks about something he desires his body to undertake, the central nervous system-- the brain and the spinal cord-- sends a signal to that part of the body. Alcohol hampers the central nervous system, making the individual think, communicate, and move more slowly.
FRONTAL LOBES -- The brain's frontal lobes are important for organizing, creating concepts, making decisions, and using self-discipline.
An individual may find it difficult to manage his or her feelings and urges once alcohol impacts the frontal lobes of the brain. The person might act without thinking or may even become violent. Drinking alcohol over an extended period of time can injure the frontal lobes forever.
HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the portion of the human brain where memories are created.
Once alcohol gets to the hippocampus, an individual may have trouble recollecting something he or she just learned, like a name or a phone number. This can occur after just a couple of drinks.
Drinking a lot of alcohol rapidly can trigger a blackout-- not having the ability to remember entire incidents, such as what he or she did the night before.
If alcohol harms the hippocampus, a person may find it tough to learn and to hold on to information.
CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is important for coordination, ideas, and awareness. Once alcohol gets in the cerebellum, a person might have difficulty with these skills. After consuming alcohol, a person's hands might be so tremulous that they cannot touch or get hold of things properly, and they might lose their balance and tumble.
HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a little part of the brain that does a fantastic variety of the body's housekeeping chores. Alcohol upsets the work of the hypothalamus. After a person drinks alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the need to urinate intensify while physical body temperature and heart rate decrease.
Alcohol actually chills the body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather conditions can cause an individual's body temperature level to fall below normal.
A person may have trouble with these skills once alcohol enters the cerebellum. After consuming alcohol, a person's hands might be so unsteady that they cannot touch or grab things normally, and they may fail to keep their equilibrium and tumble.
After an individual drinks alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the desire to urinate increase while physical body temperature levels and heart rate decline.
Alcohol actually chills the physical body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather conditions can trigger an individual's physical body temperature level to fall below normal.