Date: December, 2016
Source: University of Eastern Finland
Summary: Heavy alcohol use during adolescence alters the development of brain, according to a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital. Cortical thinning was observable in young people who had been heavy drinkers throughout their adolescence. The findings were published in Addiction.
Cingulate cortex has an important role in impulse control, and volumetric changes in this area may play an important role in the development of a substance use disorder later in life. Structural changes in the insula, on the other hand, may reflect a reduced sensitivity to alcohol's negative subjective effects, and in this way contribute to the development of a substance use disorder.
"The exact mechanism behind these structural changes is not known. However, it has been suggested that some of the volumetric changes may be reversible if alcohol consumption is reduced significantly. As risk limits of alcohol consumption have not been defined for adolescents, it would be important to screen and record adolescent substance use, and intervene if necessary." For more https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161208085850.htm