Drinking during early to mid-adolescence can lead to vulnerability to chronic stress, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
A research team led by Linda Spear, distinguished professor of psychology at Binghamton University, gave alcohol to rats every other day, starting from early to mid-adolescence. When the team looked at the same rats in adulthood, they found that adult males didn't show hormonal stress adaptation, making them more vulnerable to chronic stress.
"Stress hormones are released when you get anxious or are in a stressful circumstance," said Spear. "The classic stress hormone is cortisol in humans; it's corticosterone in rats. When you expose the animals to a stressor, the first time they show a large hormone stress response. However, this hormonal response normally adapts over time, such that less hormone is released following repeated exposure to a relatively mild stressor. And that's important, because cortisol or corticosterone helps you respond to an emergency. But it's bad to have elevated levels in the long term, because sustained elevations in these levels of these hormones have adverse effects on a lot of body systems. So cortisol is needed for emergencies, but you don't want it elevated all the time. And what we found is that following adolescent alcohol exposure, adults don't show that hormonal stress adaptation. They don't adapt to the chronic stressor, which suggests that they may be more vulnerable later to chronic stress."
For complete article go to https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160524121557.htm