Brain growth inhibited by heavy alcohol use – Review of Eurasia



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Heavy alcohol use among adolescents and young adults is not only
dangerous in itself, but new research on non-human primates
which can actually decrease the rate of growth in brain development.

The study, published in the journal eNeuro, shows that heavy alcohol use reduced the brain's growth rate by 0.25 milliliters per year for every gram of alcohol consumed per pound of body weight. In human terms, that's four beers a day. Research involved rhesus macaques monkeys at the Oregon National Primate Research Center.

"Alcohol intoxication by alcohol has reduced the rate of brain growth,
cerebral white matter and subcortical thalamus, "write the researchers.

Researchers measured brain growth through magnetic resonance imaging
of 71 rhesus monkeys that voluntarily consumed ethanol or drink
alcohol. The scientists accurately measured their intake, diet, daily
health care, thus excluding other factors that tend to confuse
results in observational studies involving people. The findings in the
study help validate previous research examining the effect of alcohol
brain development in people.

"Human studies are based on the self-reporting of underage drinkers"
said co-author Christopher Kroenke, Ph.D., associate professor at
Division of neuroscience at the center of primates. "Our measures point to
drink alcohol with impaired brain growth. "

The new study is the first to characterize the normal brain growth of 1
milliliter for 1.87 years in rhesus monkeys in late adolescence and
early adulthood. And it also shows a decrease in the volume of
areas of the brain due to the voluntary consumption of ethanol.

Lead author Tatiana Shnitko, Ph.D., assistant research professor
in the Division of Neuroscience at the primate center, said earlier
research has shown that the brain has the ability to recover at least in part
after cessation of alcohol intake. However, it is unclear
whether there would be long-term effects on mental functions such as
adolescent brain and young adult ends its growth phase. The next stage
will explore this issue.

"This is the age bracket when the brain is being adjusted to fit
adult responsibilities, "Shnitko said. "The point is, alcohol
exposure during this age range change the learning ability of the life of
individuals? "

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