Navigation Links
Study reveals possible brain damage in young adult binge-drinkers
Date:6/27/2011

It's considered a rite of passage among young people acting out their independence through heavy, episodic drinking. But a new University of Cincinnati study, the first of its kind nationally, is showing how binge drinking among adolescents and young adults could be causing serious damage to a brain that's still under development at this age.

Researcher Tim McQueeny, a doctoral student in the UC Department of Psychology, is presenting the findings this week at the 34th annual meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in Atlanta.

High-resolution brain scans on a sample of 29 weekend binge drinkers, aged 18 to 25, found that binge-drinking consuming four or more drinks in one incident for females and five or more drinks for males was linked to cortical-thinning of the pre-frontal cortex, the section of the brain related to executive functioning such as paying attention, planning and making decisions, processing emotions and controlling impulses leading to irrational behavior.

McQueeny examined the brain's gray matter, the parts of brain cells that do the thinking, receiving and transmitting of messages. "We have seen evidence that binge drinking is associated with reduced integrity in the white matter, the brain's highways that communicate neuron messaging, but alcohol may affect the gray matter differently than the white matter," he says.

The pilot study examined whether the researchers could see a relationship between gray matter thickness and binge drinking among college-aged young adults. They found that greater number of drinks per binge is associated with cortical thinning. McQueeny is now interested in pursuing future research to examine whether binge drinking is affecting the brain's gray matter and white matter differently, or if they're both equally affected.

"Alcohol might be neurotoxic to the neuron cells, or, since the brain is developing in one's 20s, it could be interacting with developmental factors and possibly altering the ways in which the brain is still growing," he says.

The findings affect a significant population. A publication from the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 42 percent of young American adults between 18 and 25 have engaged in binge drinking.

McQueeny adds that the depressant effects of alcohol emerge later in life, so for young adults, the effect of alcohol can be very stimulating and activate tolerance over time.

"In the past, in terms of what's known about the physical toll of alcohol, the focus on neurobiology has been in pathological populations and adult populations who were disproportionately male, so there was a significant gap in research in terms of when people started risky drinking. We're looking at developmental aspects at an age when binge drinking rates are highest, and we're also looking at gender effects," says McQueeny. "There might actually be indications of early micro-structural damage without the onset of pathological symptoms such as abuse, or dependence on alcohol."

McQueeny's advisor, UC Psychology Professor Krista Lisdahl Medina, served as senior author on the paper. She adds, "Our preliminary evidence has found a correlation between increased abstinence of binge drinking and recovery of gray matter volume in the cerebellum. Additional research examining brain recovery with abstinence is needed."

In terms of educating young adults about responsible drinking, Medina says there appear to be better efforts about communicating the dangers of drinking and driving. "However, people can still be doing damage to their brain as a result of the prevalence and acceptance of binge drinking. There is also evidence that drinking below the binge level may be less harmful," she says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dawn Fuller
dawn.fuller@uc.edu
513-556-1823
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... As Spring reignites vigilance ... research related to Zika virus during pregnancy, as well as other prenatal exposures ... science. , The Teratology Society is an international and multidisciplinary ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... ... Buyers and sellers in the thriving multi-billion dollar cannabis marketplace – from ... be heartened by the industry’s current surge. But another thing that unifies them is ... At last they can simply, safely and effectively end their aroma anguish thanks to ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... of predictive analytics to its patient care management module. Using this new feature, ... a patient has been initiated on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), oral, or ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... , ... April 25, 2017 , ... There is no ... Hospital, according to a special report in the May issue of Consumer Reports focused ... highest quality ranking for results achieved during and after coronary bypass and aortic valve ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Amendia, Inc., designer, ... its strategic partnership with and platinum sponsorship of Global Spine Outreach (“GSO”), a ... effective management of complex spine deformity cases, particularly in children. , GSO’s focus ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... April 21, 2017 Halo Labs announces the ... particle analysis system called the Horizon at PEGS 2017 ... The new system analyzes sub visible particulate matter in ... particle screening as early as candidate selection and pre-formulation. ... biopharma contract research organization Elion Labs for ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... 20, 2017  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and ... announced that it will be participating in the Deutsche ... InterContinental Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts ... at 11:20 a.m. Eastern Time. A live ... Biomet,s Investor Relations website at http://investor.zimmerbiomet.com .  The ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Market and Increasing Usage of Complex Biologics during the Forecast Period" ... ... 20 Billion in 2015 to around USD 26 Billion by 2020. ... by Rapidly Expanding Injectables Market and Increasing Usage of Complex Biologics ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: