ALCOHOL’S DAMAGING EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN
Difficulty in walking, blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction times, impaired memory: Clearly, alcohol affects the brain. Some of these impairments are detectable after only one or two drinks and quickly resolve when drinking stops.
On the other hand, a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain deficits that persist well after becoming sober. Exactly how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcohol research today.
Heavy drinking may have extensive and far–reaching effects on the brain, ranging from simple “slips” in memory to permanent and unbearable conditions that require lifetime custodial care. A number of factors influence how and to what extent alcohol affects the brain and they include;
- How much and how often a person drinks.
- The age at which the person first began drinking and how long he or she has been drinking.
- The person’s age, level of education, gender, genetic background, and family history of alcoholism.
- Whether the person is at risk as a result of prenatal alcohol exposure; and
- The person’s general health status.
This diagram below clearly highlights some of the effect of alcohol to the brain.
Source: Alcohol Alert