Teenage drinking affects development of hippocampus

Following on from the previous drink related post – I happened to see this sobering (haha) report in a magazine about the neurology behind teenage drinking.

Alcohol misuse in teenage years has been shown to affect the neural circuitry of the hippocampus which deals with complex behaviour such as goal setting, decision making and self control.

Young people enter their teens with their brains ‘hotwired’ to more primitive emotional expectation circuits, experiencing drastic remodeling of the higher brain as they develop, including more neural connections within and around the hippocampus.

A related study has suggested that teenagers who start drinking before they are 14 shown a higher likelihood (43%) of alcohol dependancy in later life – as opposed to people who wait until they are 21 to start drinking (9%).

It may be speculated then, that drinking too much alcohol (the limit has never been specified) throughout your teenage years may physically hinder your brains capacity for decision making and controlling your behaviour, leading to a higher likelihood of addiction.

Posted by: Eleanor


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