Navigation Links
When 'just say no' isn't enough: Try science
Date:12/3/2008

Teens are fascinated by their brains, the way they work, change, and even "freeze" sometimes. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) recommends that parents, teachers and caregivers use that fascination to engage middle and high school students this holiday season in a discussion of why they shouldn't drink alcohol.

"Parents need every tool they can find to convince their teens not to drink alcohol, particularly during the holiday season," says Shirley Malcom, head of the Education & Human Resources Directorate at AAAS. "Science is such a tool, and it is providing new insights on alcohol's effects on the maturing brain."

Scientists used to believe that human brains finished developing before adolescence. But according to The Science Inside Alcohol Project, an alcohol education effort of the AAAS that is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), new and ongoing brain research shows that important brain regions and their interconnections are still developing well into a person's twenties.

The brain is made up of more than 100 billion neurons, each making tens of thousands of connections. Alcohol can damage or even kill neurons, perhaps altering development of those parts of the adolescent brain that are still forming. Research suggests that alcohol can cause teens to:

  • Make bad decisions. The prefrontal cortex, which is involved in planning and decision-making, does not completely mature until after the teen years. Using alcohol can harm a teen's ability to reason and weigh options instead of just doing something because it is fun or feels good.

  • Develop a tolerance for alcohol and drink more over time. When adolescents drink on multiple occasions, their brains develop tolerance to alcohol, requiring more alcohol to obtain the same effects as previously. This encourages higher levels of use, potentially leading to alcohol abuse and even dependence. The highest rates of abuse and dependence on alcohol have been reported among youth in their late teens and early twenties, followed by 12-17 year olds.

  • Take risks they usually would not take. Connections between regions of the prefrontal cortex and the ventral striatum, an important part of the brain's reward system, are important in regulating impulsive behavior and are still maturing during adolescence. Alcohol can affect those connections, making teens more likely to do impulsive things they later may regret like drinking and driving or having sex.

  • Harm their memories. The hippocampus, or the area in the brain that stores memory, is still maturing during adolescence. Research shows that ingesting even small amounts of alcohol can make teens less likely to recall something they learned earlier or remember what they did while drinking.

  • Cause problems with medications. Medication for attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder or other problems with the brain may react badly with alcohol. For instance, if a teen takes Ritalin and drinks alcohol it may increase the effects of Ritalin, affecting the ability to perform tasks that require complete concentration. For those taking lithium for bipolar disorder, drinking alcohol, particularly in large quantities, can impair judgment, thinking and motor skills.


'/>"/>

Contact: Aimee Stern
aimee@sterncommdc.com
202-744-5004
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
2. Antibacterial Soap Claims Just Dont Wash
3. Computer-Related Eye Strain Not Just for Adults
4. AUDIO from Medialink and Commit Lozenge: Wanna Quit Smoking With Therapeutic Nicotine? Just Follow the Directions
5. Just Completed Studies Reveal Impact of New Medicare Reimbursement Regulations
6. Dont just save her life, save her fertility
7. Justice Department to Hold Media Event to Demonstrate New Database for Matching Unidentified Remains and Missing Persons Information
8. New Herbal Water Creating Taste Sensation: Ayalas Herbal Water Has No Calories, No Preservatives and No Artificial Additives. Just All the Natural Benefits of Herbs!
9. St. Jude psychologist says most children with cancer are well-adjusted
10. Key to longer life (in flies) lies in just 14 brain cells
11. Medical Justice Services Inc. Joins Center for Health Transformation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “God's Miracle Man: Against All Odds”: an inspiring affirmation ... author, Keith C. A. Tucker, son of Minister Delores Pinnock and a Jamaican native ... Mark Hardy , “While sitting up in bed, I felt a pounding headache. It ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... Next week after January 20th, the fear for many ... that circumvent health needs of over 30 million. Many interviews with Dr. Carol Francis ... government public servants were suppose to prioritize. Interviews provided below. , Among ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... , ... This month, the CEO and Clinical Director of Sober Living Outpatient, ... in Delray Beach, Florida has been changed from Sober Living Outpatient to ‘SLO Recovery ... Hoffman and Chris Farley are dying from heroin overdoses, but thousands of unnamed kids ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... Remote Medical Technologies (RMT), the leader ... with their iMedHD2™ Portable Teleultrasound System. Compatible with any ultrasound ... HD, dynamic, streaming ultrasound images and video to one or more distant locations ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Catalent Pharma Solutions, the leading global provider ... products, today announced that it will be co-hosting a workshop entitled “Develop Better ... delivery solutions to health industries worldwide. The one day event is to be ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 Germany Cataract Surgery ... new report, "Germany Cataract Surgery Devices Market Outlook to ... Surgery Devices market. The report provides value, in millions ... (USD) within market segements - Phacoemulsification Equipment and Ophthalmic ... shares and distribution shares data for each of these ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Conference Call and Webcast to Follow Vanda ... will release results for the fourth quarter of 2016 on Wednesday, ... ... at 4:30 PM ET on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, during which ... results and other corporate activities. To participate in the conference call, ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 Incretin Mimetics/GLP-1 Agonists, SNDRIs, Lipase Inhibitors, ... The global anti-obesity drugs market is expected to grow ... forecast period and CAGR of 38.7% in the second half of ... CAGR of 32.8% from 2016 to 2027. The market is estimated ... million in 2027. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: