Navigation Links
Brain Scans May Spot Teens at Risk for Problem Drinking

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Teenagers with less activity in certain areas of the brain are at greater risk for becoming problem drinkers, according to a small new study that also provides evidence that heavy drinking harms young people's developing brains.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, performed special MRI scans to examine the brain activity of 40 healthy young people ranging in age from 12 to 16 years. At the time the study began, the teens did not drink alcohol. Three years later, when the teens' brains were scanned again, half of the teens had already started drinking fairly heavily, the researchers noted.

The study revealed that the young people whose brains initially showed less activity in certain areas were more likely to become heavy drinkers over the course of the study. Heavy drinking consisted of four or more drinks on occasion for girls and five or more drinks for boys.

The researchers said that once the teens started drinking, their brain activity increased during memory tests and their brains resembled those of heavy drinkers.

"That's the opposite of what you'd expect, because their brains should be getting more efficient as they get older," said the study's lead researcher, Lindsay Squeglia, in a university news release. "It's interesting because it suggests there might be some preexisting vulnerability."

The study's authors said their findings could shed light on the biological origins of problem drinking among kids. They noted the study should also serve as a reminder that drinking could negatively affect developing young brains.

"You're learning to drive, you're getting ready for college. This is a really important time of your life for cognitive development," said Squeglia. She added that teens with certain disorders, such as depression or ADHD, may be more vulnerable to the adverse effects of heavy drinking.

The study, which did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between lower brain activity and problem drinking, is published in the September issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on underage drinking.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: University of California, San Diego, news release, Aug. 8, 2012

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Brain activity may predict teens heavy drinking
2. Brains Connections May Predict Intelligence: Study
3. Brain Scans of Hoarders Show Unique Abnormalities
4. Hormone May Boost Aging, Failing Brains
5. Brains stem cells eavesdrop to find out when to act
6. Chronic Butter Flavoring Exposure Linked to Harmful Brain Process
7. People with allergies may have lower risk of brain tumors
8. Musicians Brains Might Have an Edge on Aging
9. UT Southwestern study suggests new treatment target for deadly brain tumors
10. The aging brain is more malleable than previously believed
11. Concussions and head impacts may accelerate brain aging
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Brain Scans May Spot Teens at Risk for Problem Drinking
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is updating their record books yet again ... free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an accomplishment for the PRMA team, says ... and it’s an honor to have served all of these women.” , PRMA is ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios brings Final ... ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes with 30 all-new vintage-inspired designs, ... giving users limitless opportunities to stylize and create designs quickly and easily, all ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor ... application server to improve system efficiency and reliability. , The new Q-Suite 6 platform ... standards, the system avoids locking itself into a specific piece of software for many ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... for all, Water For Empowerment ™ attracts volunteers together who want to ... by empowering women as key stakeholders in the process. The non-profit launched its ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... MN (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Finnleo, ... through Christmas Eve on several models of traditional and far-infrared saunas. , ... Nordic Spruce is the most traditional Finnish sauna wood, and Finnleo uses only European ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the Italian ... Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" report ... --> This new 247-page report ... drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, instrumentation, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ... the European Cell Surface Marker Testing ... Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015  The total global healthcare industry ... over 2015-2016. Latin America has the ... , (excluding Japan ), is second with ... continues to face increased healthcare expenditure. In 2013-2014, total government ... from 43.5% in 2008-2009 to 41.2% in 2013-2014. In real ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: