Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Excessive Alcohol Use When You’re Young Could Have Lasting Impacts on Your Brain

Date:
January 30, 2013
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
There is growing evidence for the lasting impact of alcohol on the brain. Excessive alcohol use accounts for 4% of the global burden of disease, and binge drinking particularly is becoming an increasing health issue. A new review highlights the significant changes in brain function and structure that can be caused by alcohol misuse in young people. Functional signs of brain damage from alcohol misuse in young people mainly include deficits in visual learning and memory as well as executive functions.

Functional signs of brain damage from alcohol misuse in young people mainly include deficits in visual learning and memory as well as executive functions.
Credit: Markus Bormann / Fotolia

There is growing evidence for the lasting impact of alcohol on the brain. Excessive alcohol use accounts for 4% of the global burden of disease, and binge drinking particularly is becoming an increasing health issue. A new review article published in Cortex highlights the significant changes in brain function and structure that can be caused by alcohol misuse in young people.

Functional signs of brain damage from alcohol misuse in young people mainly include deficits in visual learning and memory as well as executive functions. These functions are controlled by the hippocampus and frontal structures of the brain, which are not fully mature until around 25 years of age. Structural signs of alcohol misuse in young people include shrinking of the brain and significant changes to white matter tracts.

Age of first use may be considered to trigger alcohol misuse. According to the researchers however, changing the legal drinking age is not the answer. In Australia the legal drinking age is 18, three years earlier than in the US. Despite the difference in legal drinking age, the age of first use (and associated problems) is the same between the two countries.

Instead, the authors stressed the need for early intervention, by identifying markers and thresholds of risky drinking behaviour at an early stage, while individuals are in vulnerable stages of brain development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel F. Hermens, Jim Lagopoulos, Juliette Tobias-Webb, Tamara De Regt, Glenys Dore, Lisa Juckes, Noeline Latt, Ian B. Hickie. Pathways to alcohol-induced brain impairment in young people: A review. Cortex, 2013; 49 (1): 3 DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2012.05.021

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Excessive Alcohol Use When You’re Young Could Have Lasting Impacts on Your Brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130082732.htm>.
Elsevier. (2013, January 30). Excessive Alcohol Use When You’re Young Could Have Lasting Impacts on Your Brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130082732.htm
Elsevier. "Excessive Alcohol Use When You’re Young Could Have Lasting Impacts on Your Brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130082732.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins