Effects Of Alcohol On The Teenage Brain – Teenage drinking can cause irreversible brain damage For teenagers, the effects of a drunken night out can linger long after the hangover subsides. A recent study found that teens who binge drink have damage to neural tissue in their brains, which causes them to perform worse on tests of thinking and memory.

The red spots highlight areas where the brain’s white matter integrity is significantly lower in teens who binge drink and eat compared to those who don’t. Provided by Susan Tapert/Tim Macnee, UCSD Hide caption

Effects Of Alcohol On The Teenage Brain

Effects Of Alcohol On The Teenage Brain

The red spots highlight areas where the brain’s white matter integrity is significantly lower in teens who binge drink and eat compared to those who don’t.

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A recent study led by Susan Tapert, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego, compared brain scans of teens who drink heavily with those of teens who don’t.

Tapert’s team found damaged neural tissue in the brains of teens who drank alcohol. Researchers believe this damage negatively impacts boys’ attention spans and girls’ ability to understand and interpret visual information.

“First of all, the adolescent brain is still going through some maturational processes, which makes it more vulnerable to some of the effects of substances,” Tapert says.

In other words, key areas of the brain are still under construction during adolescence and are more sensitive to the toxic effects of drugs and alcohol.

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Brain damage in a teenage drinker, top view Courtesy of Susan Tapert/Tim Macnee, UCSD Hide caption

Tapert observed children between the ages of 12 and 14 before they started using alcohol or drugs. Over time, some children start drinking, and some of them drink quite heavily, consuming 4 or 5 drinks at a time, 2 or 3 times a month, which is typical for teenagers. It was an act of binge eating.

When Tapert’s team compared young people who drank heavily with those who did not drink, they found that heavy drinkers performed worse on tests of thinking and memory. There were also clear gender differences.

Effects Of Alcohol On The Teenage Brain

“Girls who drink heavily during adolescence appear to perform worse on tests of spatial function related to math and engineering functions,” Tapert says.

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“We find that boys who binge drink and eat during adolescence perform worse on tests of attention, which means they can concentrate for longer periods of time on potentially boring tasks,” Tapert says. “The size of the difference is 10% for her. I would like to think of it as the difference between A and B.”

Ron Dahl, a pediatrician and brain researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, said young people appear to be more tolerant of the immediate negative effects of heavy drinking, such as feeling sick and nausea.

“This makes it easier to consume more and enjoy some of the positive aspects,” says Dahl. “But, of course, it also creates liability for causing a spiral of addiction and binge drinking to these substances.”

He added that the teenage brain has unique characteristics that drive many adolescent behaviors. That means the teenage brain is primed and ready for all-consuming, intensive learning.

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“Being passionate about a particular activity or a particular sport, being passionate about literature or changing the world or a particular religion” is a normal and predictable part of being a teenager, he says.

“But that same tendency to explore and try new things and try new identities can also increase the likelihood of starting down a negative path,” he added.

Tapert wanted to find out how binge drinking affects teenagers’ developing brains. So she used brain imaging to focus on the brain’s white matter, or neural tissue.

Effects Of Alcohol On The Teenage Brain

“White matter is very important for communication between brain cells, and we know that white matter continues to develop during adolescence,” Tapert says.

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So Tapert imaged the brains of her two groups of high school students: binge drinkers and a matched group of teenagers with no history of binge drinking. In her recent study, she reports significant differences in the white matter of heavy drinkers.

“There appear to be many small indentations throughout the white matter of the brain, indicating poor quality,” Tapert said.

“This result was actually a surprise to me because the kids who binge drank weren’t actually drinking that much, although they were drinking on average once or twice a month. If I did drink at all, it was only on one occasion, which is a relatively large amount of drinking, at least four or five drinks at a time,” she says.

In another study, Dr. Tapert reported abnormal functioning of the hippocampus (an important area for memory formation) in teenage binge drinkers. Reflecting abnormal brain scans, teenage drinkers performed worse in language learning than non-drinkers. Ask the Experts Her Connections and Actions Gia and Olive’s Cooking Meals and Happiness Mind and Body Just for You My Story Recipes for Parenting Preschoolers

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Under the influence of large amounts of alcohol, teenagers make bad decisions. Sexual violence is a big problem.

First of all, good news. At least in Australia, more teenagers are abstaining from alcohol than they were 20 years ago. It may be related to the country’s changing ethnic and cultural mix as diversity increases. And fewer teens are having trouble with alcohol on a regular basis than they were 20 years ago. Now, the bad news among the good news. There is a group of hardcore people who still drink too much. And compared to 20 years ago, this small group of problem drinkers are starting to drink earlier and drinking more than the hardcore mobsters of 20 years ago.

An Australian study found that boys and girls start out drinking about the same amount, but as teens grow older, boys end up drinking significantly more than girls.

Effects Of Alcohol On The Teenage Brain

Under the influence of large amounts of alcohol, teenagers make bad decisions. Sexual violence is a big problem. At least a quarter of American women have been victims of sexual assault, including rape. And half of those incidents involve alcohol use by the perpetrator, victim, or both. As a parent, this is probably one of your worst nightmares.

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Under the influence of alcohol, our teens are more likely to have casual sex. A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that young people are more likely to have consensual sex after drinking alcohol, but they also say they engage in “more” sexual activity than they had planned after drinking. None of that may be a problem, but not using a condom increases your risk of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy. That doesn’t happen often when alcohol is involved.

When drunk, teens are more likely to commit violence or become victims of youth violence. When you’re drunk, you have less self-control and impulse control, which reduces your ability to assess risk and heightens your emotions. Additionally, some drinkers become easy targets for perpetrators because they are off the game in terms of reading and responding to situations. Drunk teens are also more likely to cause vandalism and property damage.

Even in countries with strict drunk driving laws, young drinkers are more likely to be involved in a car accident. The risk of an accident from driving under the influence of alcohol is higher for young people than for adults at all blood alcohol concentration levels. This is partly due to young people’s lack of driving experience.

Accidents such as fire, falls, and drowning are also more likely to occur. In fact, an Australian study found that 83% of hazardous drinkers aged 14 to 19 had been injured due to drinking in the past 12 months, and 7% had visited an emergency room for an alcohol-related injury. There was found.

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Being drunk on screen is a bad combination. People who post while intoxicated also post more inappropriate content. From nude photos, to revealing friends’ secrets, to promoting one’s drunkenness, to trolling. That’s never wise!

The long-term effects of teenage drinking are also quite scary. “Kids will be kids” and doing dangerous things is definitely a behavior of teens, and many of these heavy drinking teens completely recover from heavy alcohol consumption over time. It “grows”, but not always. “Drug use” in high school is one of the strongest predictors of drug abuse in adulthood. In fact, a 12th grade student’s rate of hazardous drinking is a pretty good predictor of her alcohol use and dependence at age 35 and dropping out of college in America.

Alcohol damages the brain. It is well documented that long-term alcoholism has a variety of effects on the brain. However, so-called binge drinking also increases damage to brain cells, especially in the frontal and prefrontal cortex (i.e., what are called “executive functions” such as cognitive skills, planning and organization, personality expression, decision-making, and social behavior). It is important). and the hippocampus (learning and memory center). Because the adolescent brain is growing rapidly, it is particularly susceptible to damage from alcohol, which can have significant long-term effects. The teenage brain appears to be particularly susceptible to frontal cortex damage due to the presence of certain genetic factors. And the effects seem to be more pronounced in girls than in boys, suggesting that girls’ brains may be more susceptible to damage from alcohol.

Effects Of Alcohol On The Teenage Brain


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