Drinking before the age of 20 can impair brain growth

Excessive alcohol consumption has always been linked to an increased risk of developing diseases such as cancer , hepatitis and liver cirrhosis , but in adolescents and children, drinking can have even more damaging effects.

Drinking is increasingly becoming a common practice among young people, including those under the age of 14.

And the sooner the intake is, the greater the chances of it becoming an addiction.

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The damage that alcohol does to the body is linked to the way it acts on the nervous system, slowing down the vital functions of the body.

And to better understand the negative effects caused by drinking, a new study, published in the scientific journal eNeuro , revealed that alcohol is also capable of slowing the growth rate of brain size.

The result presented showed that approximately 4 beers per day is already capable of causing the brain to have its growth rates decreased by 0.25 millimeters per year.

As the brain region is still in formation until, approximately, the 20 years, the alterations in this period aggravate the chances of the young person to have some cognitive damage.

Although the findings are based on studies in monkeys, the results are also valid for humans, according to the study authors.

Developmental delay

From adolescence to adulthood, the brain goes through a process called brain remodeling, which is basically the final part of development, in which the organ grows.

During this period, alcohol consumption affects areas of the brain linked, for example, to the person’s cognitive maturation.

In addition, drinks were also responsible for decreasing the white matter of the brain, which is important in the process of disseminating information, and the subcortical thalamus, which is essential in linguistic activities.

The results provide important information about how alcohol is harmful to the brain, altering a person’s learning ability.

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Alcohol consumption is usually linked to health problems, especially if large quantities are made, which can lead to dependency.