| sexual performance and arousal. When someone is
| Effects of Alcohol on The Brain | Biology| | | This paper is on the effects of alcohol on the brain, the damage that it causes to the nervous system and other organs, and the long term effects of alcohol dependency. | Abstract Alcohol affects many parts of the human brain, but generally, alcohol affects the brain tissue and depresses the nervous system. Alcohol also can destroy brain cells.
The problem with the destruction of brain cells it that they can never be regenerated, once they are lost, they are lost forever. Excessive drinking or binge drinking over a long period of time can cause detrimental problems to the memory and cognition.Alcohol can also greatly affect the * Cerebral cortex * Limbic system * Cerebellum * Hypothalamus * Pituitary gland * The medulla The cerebral cortex processes our thoughts, our senses, and is the house of our voluntary muscle movement. When the cerebral cortex is inhabited by alcohol, it makes our bodies slow down on its reaction time and can cause poor judgment.
This can also cause someone who is intoxicated to become very talkative and more confident. The more alcohol consumption there is the greater these effects become. The limbic system controls the memory and emotions.The effect alcohol has on the limbic system is that the person who is intoxicated can encounter memory loss and uncontrollable emotional outbursts. The cerebellum controls our muscular movements. When the cerebellum is affected by alcohol it can cause involuntary muscle movements and uncoordination.
The hypothalamus controls the automatic functions and hormonal release. Alcohol affects the hypothalamus through sexual performance and arousal. When someone is intoxicated they are more sexually aroused, but there performance may not be as it normally would.
Alcohol also effects our body’s urine excretion, which is controlled by the pituitary glands. The kidneys act as a sponge. When the anti diuretic hormone is inhabited, its levels drop. This causes the kidneys to not absorb as much water as they normally would, and this leads to the production of more urine. The medulla controls our body’s automatic functions such as heart rate, breathing, and our body’s natural temperature. When the medulla is effects by alcohol, the intoxicated person starts to feel faint and if not monitored, can lead to unconsciousness.This is what leads to death from alcohol consumption.
Once the body become immune to the alcohol it takes more and more for a blackout to occur, and when they do they can be life threatening. Too much alcohol consumption can cause alcohol poisoning. Some side effects of alcohol poisoning are: * Mental confusion * Coma * Vomiting * Slow breathing * Seizures * Hypothermia * Irregular heart beat * Permanent brain damage * Death. Over the past few decades, researches have seen a steady decline in ages of first use of alcohol.This means that younger children are experimenting with alcohol, which leads to greater effects on the brain because their brains are not fully developed and can cause dependency. Life time alcohol use in youth has been shown to have poorer recall of nonverbal and verbal information.
Some evidence has suggested that negative effects of alcohol on the brain may be buffered in part by neuroprotective properties of cannabinoids (Mahmood M. Omar, PHD (2010) 1). Abstract. During adolescence, as the brain undergoes substantial development changes in the transition to adulthood, a significant portion of teenagers use substances that can alter eural structure and function. The most popular of the substances are alcohol and cannabis. Heavy alcohol use in adults is associated with neural dysfunction and cognitive defects, particularly in the domains of memory (Mahmood M.
Omar, PHD (2010) 1). Abstract. Adolescences who tend demonstrate greater sensitivity to the effects of alcohol on cognition (White et al.
,2000), exhibited decrements associated with heavy drinking in verbal memory, visuospatial functions, and attention (Brown et al. ,2000; Squeglia et al. , 2009; Tapert and Brown, 1999).
Alcohol can also increase membrane fluidity. Alcohol is used as a universal solvent which has direct or indirect effects on the components in the plasma membrane. Numerous researches and investigators have discovered that an ethanol-induced perturbation of the mechanical and structural properties of the cell membrane is important in the mechanism underlying alcohol intoxication (Trandum et al. 1999). (This is a brain that has had many years of alcohol consumption, and as shown, the one on the left looks as if it shrunk.
The development of alcohol dependency is suggested to involve numerous changes in the brain chemistry. This can lead to physiological signs of withdrawal upon one refraining themselves from alcohol. Adaptation to alcohol consumption have been associated with effects on behavior, such as change in reinforcement, increased anxiety, and enhanced sensitivity to stress, all of these may contributes to an abstinent alcoholic to relapse. The development of dependence to alcohol is suggested to involve changes in the chemistry of the brain.
Alcohol initially increases dopamine release in the mesolimbis system.Unlike most other addictive drugs, however, alcohol lacks a specific receptor in the brain. Instead, the effects of beverage alcohol on dopamine release may result from direct effects on the firing of dopamine neurons in the VTA and/or be mediated through interactions with other signaling systems, such as those using the neurotrans-mitter glutamate, aminobutyric adic, and serotonin as well as through interactions with the opioid and cannabinion sysem (Rossetti et al. 1999; Weiss et al. 1996). Alcohol withdrawal can persist over a long period of time.Many alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the first stages of abstinence include nervousness, jumpiness, shakiness, anxiety, or irritability.
Emotional changes are very common as well. One can experience emotional volatility and the quickness to change emotions. Depression is the most common alcohol withdrawal symptom.
With the depression also come fatigue, problem thinking clearly, or thinking too much, and night terrors. The physical symptoms are more rapid the psychological symptoms, but the psychological symptoms can persist over a longer period of time, and some of the symptoms never go away.These psychological effects include confusion or hallucinations, they can become paranoid, easily agitated, high fever and confusion.
Alcohol, and the effect that is has on the brain are very serious. It ranges from not being able to clearly think due to the alcohol blocking messages sent from the brain to the body, to having someone blackout or even die from too much alcohol or alcohol poisoning. Researchers are seeing younger people trying alcohol for the first time. This means that there is more alcohol dependency coming from young adults.Alcohol also affects almost every organ in our body, especially the liver, in fact there are over 2 million cases of liver disease caused from alcohol, and that 10 to 20 percent of heavy drinkers can get cirrhosis of the liver.
Cirrhosis of the liver is scarring of the liver due to alcohol consumption. It is irreversible, but someone with cirrhosis liver is suggested to stop drinking, this can help heal it. Someone who drinks too much can also acquire alcoholic hepatitis, this is fatal.
There are so many negative effects that that alcohol can have on the brain and the body, and too much can cause dependency.With all the negative effects that alcohol can have, and the rise of dependency our country is seeing one can only assume that this is a major problem, and there should be more drinking laws, and awareness programs. Work Cite Alcohol Research & Health (2008) Volume 31, Number 4 “How Adaptation of the Brain Leads to Dependence: A Pharmacological Perspective”. Blackwell Munksgaard (2006) Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 18, 226-229 “Structural brain correlates of alcohol and cannabis use in recreational users”. Blood Alcohol Information Facts, Myths, and Misconceptions (2006-2010) “Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms” Retrieved from www. loodalcohol.
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