‘It relaxes the brain’ – that is likely to be the first argument that drinkers will offer when asked what alcohol actually does to the brain. Scientifically, it does offer some relaxation, however, the consequences of drinking do not stop there. Alcohol influences almost the whole of the body and effect on the brain are even more significant.
Heavy drinking can cause some temporary effects on the brain that hampers the operations for a smaller time. Persistent drinking, on the other hand, can lead to greater and lasting harms for the brain both – structurally and operationally. As alcohol enter the body, it begins a chemical influence on the neurons of the brain. This chemical influence leads to the breakage in the signal processing between brain and the nervous system and therefore, the interaction with the other parts of the body is affected. Continuous disturbance with the neurons for a long period of time strengthens these effects and may lead to an incurable stage. Let us study the action of alcohol on the human body in detail.
Effects On The Brain Structure
Drinking within the moderate alcohol limits, suggests that effect on the structure of the alcohol are almost non-existence. Moderate alcohol consumption is stated as one unit for females and units for males per day. Being in the limit, in facts, helps in preventing certain diseases and also strengthens organ systems. When the alcohol is consumed in more than moderate levels, the effects on the brain structure start to appear very significantly.
Studies have found out that the corpus callosum decreases in size among male drinker while female drinker suffers the shrinkage of cortical white matter regions. The level of brain shrinkage was pretty eminent for both the genders even though the affected portion altered to some extent. Studies have also witnessed that once the consumption of alcohol is stopped, there are certain chances of partial recovery of shrunk brain portion. Among females recovery begins earlier but slows down later while among the males recovery begins later and more prominently.
Effect On The Functions Of The Brain
Effects of the alcohol start leaving its traces almost instantly after it enters the body. For that instant, it may act as an anti-depressant, which is because it downgrades the ability of the brain neurons to function normally. It hampers almost all the functions of the brain, like: decision making, thinking, reflexes, and memory. Thus, making the drinker do weird things, for example –repeatedly talking about the same topics, inability to drive, and forgetting the incidence or actions performed while drunk. Only certain impactful parts of the brain are in order, so only limited functions of the brain are performed.
In the case of persistent drinking patterns, the disabilities of the brain operations worsen further. It can lead to many permanent brain ailments. Dementia is one the common brain disorder raised out of alcohol consumption. Memory-loss and Parkinson’s disease (shaking hand) are also possible outcomes of the persistent heavy drinking. Such brain ailments are curable when treatment is performed on time for the most cases. But stats are not equally glorious when the victim is a smoker or drug addict. Chances of cure and recovery shrink drastically in those cases.
Effect On The General Psychology Of The Drinker
The psychology is disrupted quite heavily because of alcohol. Alcohol initiates as an anti-depressant but its regular consumption also causes the depression. Alcohol may induce and/or enhance the depression for the drinker. In a way, depression and alcohol act as magnifiers for each other, which eventually develops very harmful consequences for the body. So, alcohol brings in a great amount of negativity in the thought processing of the drinker, which keeps growing as the drinking practice grows. Again, the moderate level of consumption has not shown any such effects on the psychology other than addictiveness.
Other effects of the alcohol on the drinker’s psychology remain with the compulsive or addictive alcohol needs. Though there is a strong possibility of rectifying such psychology, it requires a strenuous effort of the victim. Since alcohol leads to several other health risks, the psychology keeps on to take the beatings and hardly gets an ample chance of recovery.