Effect of Alcohol on the Brain

Alcohol has severe adverse effects on the brain. Before you reach for your next tipple, you should read this.

Everybody has a glass of alcohol once in a while, but whether one drinks every day or just one drink over the weekend, the fact of the matter is that alcohol has some pretty damaging effects on the brain.

The most outwardly visible sign of a temporarily impaired brain function is losing control over one’s behaviour when inebriated. This happens when a person has had ‘one too many’ drinks and the alcohol content in the blood has exceeded one’s tolerance level. However, once the person rests and sufficient time has elapsed after the last drink, the brain regains normal functioning. If, however, the person regularly exceeds his last intake and gets habituated to alcohol, his or her brain impairment will be more long term.

However, regular drinkers stand to impair their brain functions over time. This is how:

Alcohol has severe adverse effects on the brain. Before you reach for your next tipple, you should read this.

Memory lapses: Over a period of time, alcoholics begin to suffer lapses in memory. They may experience phases where they can’t remember everyday details or in worst cases, even their own names when they wake up in the morning. The person may be able to recollect important facts or personal milestones and may have normal interactions with family and friends. However, he or she is unable to recall work-related details and dates, and some may even lose track of time.

Poor muscle coordination: Alcoholics may suffer from mild to severe lack of muscle coordination, which makes it difficult or impossible to perform simple tasks like tying one’s shoelaces or locking the doors, to being able to walk out of the room without swaying or bumping into things. Some alcoholics report shaky hands that make it impossible to write legibly or inscribe a signature. This happens because of a deficiency of thiamine in the brain, whose absorption is hampered by the presence of alcohol.

Unlearning things: In studies conducted across test groups of university students in the US, it was found that youngsters regularly drinking more than two beers every day or indulging in binge drinking were apt to unlearn several behaviors that they exhibited previously. Hitherto punctual students were found to be become habitual latecomers. Those who stressed on neatness in their dorm rooms had increasingly become sloppy. This means that alcohol erases certain behavior traits in a person. Doctors find that the effects are much more severe in people who have been drinking since their pre-teen or teen years.

Shrinking of the brain: Researchers around the world say that the biggest fallout of sustained alcohol consumption is shrinking of the brain.Alcohol impairs the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, which results in low oxygenation in the blood. The brain is unable to receive pure blood and over time, it begins to shrink from lack of nutrients. Another reason for this is the fact that alcoholics typically have a poor appetite and they are more likely to eat junk food when hungry. This further impairs the brain’s cognitive functions.