Alcohol consumption 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 adolescence.
In adolescence, brain growth is defined by dramatic changes to the brain's architecture, neuron connectivity ("circuitry"), and physiology. These transformations in the brain disturb everything from developing sexuality to emotionality and judgment.
Not all parts of the adolescent brain mature at the exact same time, which might put a juvenile at a disadvantage in certain situations. The limbic areas of the brain mature sooner than the frontal lobes.
How Alcohol Disturbs the Brain
Alcohol alters an adolescent's brain development in many ways. The repercussions of juvenile alcohol consumption on specialized brain functions are discussed 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 human brain that controls inhibitions.
CEREBRAL CORTEX-- Alcohol slows down the cortex as it works with details 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 spine-- sends a signal to that part of the body. Alcohol impedes the central nervous system, making the person think, converse, and move slower.
FRONTAL LOBES -- The human brain's frontal lobes are necessary for advanced planning, creating concepts, making decisions, and employing self-discipline.
An individual may find it hard to manage his or her emotions and urges when alcohol affects the frontal lobes of the brain. The person might act without thinking or might even get violent. Consuming alcohol over a long period of time can harm the frontal lobes permanently.
HIPPOCAMPUS-- The hippocampus is the part of the brain in which memories are made.
When alcohol gets to the hippocampus, a person may have difficulty recollecting a thing he or she just learned, such as a name or a telephone number. This can occur after just a couple of alcoholic beverages.
Drinking a great deal of alcohol quickly can trigger a blackout-- not being able to recollect whole occurrences, like what exactly he or she did last night.
If alcohol damages the hippocampus, a person might find it tough to learn and to hold on to knowledge.
CEREBELLUM-- The cerebellum is necessary for coordination, to form thoughts, and attention. An individual might have difficulty with these skills when alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After consuming alcohol, an individual's hands may be so shaky that they can't touch or get hold of things properly, and they may lose their equilibrium and tumble.
HYPOTHALAMUS-- The hypothalamus is a small part of the brain that does an amazing variety of the body's housekeeping chores. Alcohol upsets the work of the hypothalamus. After an individual consumes alcohol, blood pressure, hunger, thirst, and the impulse to urinate intensify while physical body temperature level and heart rate decrease.
Alcohol actually chills the body. Drinking a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather conditions can trigger an individual's physical body temperature to fall below normal.
An individual might have difficulty with these abilities once alcohol goes into the cerebellum. After drinking alcohol, a person's hands may be so unsteady that they cannot touch or grab things normally, 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 in fact chills the physical body. Consuming a lot of alcohol outdoors in cold weather conditions can cause a person's body temperature to fall below normal.
ADDITIONAL HELP WITH ALCOHOL . . .
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