Effects of Alcohol on the Brain

Topics: Brain, Cerebral cortex, Nervous system Pages: 2 (682 words) Published: October 27, 2010
Martin Prendergast
Effects of alcohol on the brain
Our society has always been surrounded by alcohol and has suffered from the effects of it. Alcoholism and binge drinking is one of the leading causes of death in America. Not only does alcohol destroy your body and mind but it also impairs your judgment and decreases your mobility and motor control. Abuse and alcohol related problems have always been around but the numbers are steadily increasing and the age of youth drinkers has also increased.

You can’t watch television or listen to radio anymore without seeing a commercial for alcohol. Ads make drinking something that is cool and if you do it you will be attractive, cool, and someone that everyone wants to be. Ads like these have made drinking sociably acceptable and have influenced young kids. Kids before the age of twenty have brains that are still changing and growing. Heavy drinking will cause memory loss and halt frontal lobe development more so in teenagers than in adults. Alcohol on the brain can also stunt your learning and the effects are irreversible.

The American Medical Association (AMA) did a test comparing the capabilities of adolescent drinkers and non drinkers. The test showed that the two areas of the brain that were most affected in adolescents that drank were the hippocampus and the prefrontal area. The hippocampus controls learning memory and was at least 10 percent smaller in teenagers that had been drinking more and for much longer. The damage to the hippocampus caused decreased Verbal and non verbal information recall, memory, general information, vocabulary, and memory retrieval. The tests showed that adolescents that binge drank were more likely to do badly in school and the dropout rate was much higher and also had more social problems, depression, and suicidal thoughts. The prefrontal lobe which control your behavior and develops your personality during adolescence went through changes that affect their...
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