A growing body of evidence supports the idea that alcohol exposure early in life has lasting effects on the brain and increases the risk of psychological problems in adulthood. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that adolescent binge drinking, even if discontinued, increases the risk for anxiety later in life due to abnormal epigenetic programming. The findings of the study, which was conducted in animals, was published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. Continue reading “Binge drinking in adolescence may increase risk for anxiety later in life”
Smoking and alcohol: Double trouble for the brain?
Along with many other harmful health consequences, smoking tobacco causes chemical changes, oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain. Excessive alcohol use can have similar effects. Surprisingly, however, very few studies have examined the combined impact of smoking and alcohol on the brain. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Chemical Neuroscience have shown that in rats, the joint use of tobacco and alcohol could increase neural damage in particular brain regions. Continue reading “Smoking and alcohol: Double trouble for the brain?”
Do personality traits of compulsive users of social media overlap with problem drinking?
A study published in the Australian Journal of Psychology found certain similarities and differences in personality traits when comparing compulsive use of social media with problematic or risky alcohol use. Continue reading “Do personality traits of compulsive users of social media overlap with problem drinking?”
Just a few drinks can change how memories are formed
One of the many challenges with battling alcohol addiction and other substance abuse disorders is the risk of relapse, even after progress toward recovery. Even pesky fruit flies have a hankering for alcohol, and because the molecular signals involved in forming flies’ reward and avoidance memories are much the same as those in humans, they’re a good model for study. Continue reading “Just a few drinks can change how memories are formed”
Smoking and drinking can damage arteries ‘very early in life’
The arteries of teenagers who drink alcohol and smoke, even very occasionally, are already beginning to stiffen by age 17, according to UCL research. Arterial stiffness indicates damage to the blood vessels, which predicts heart and blood vessel problems in later life, such as heart attacks and stroke. Continue reading “Smoking and drinking can damage arteries ‘very early in life’”
Early age of drinking leads to neurocognitive and neuropsychological damage
Although drinking by U.S. adolescents has decreased during the last decade, more than 20 percent of U.S. high-school students continue to drink alcohol before the age of 14 years. This can have adverse effects on their neurodevelopment. Continue reading “Early age of drinking leads to neurocognitive and neuropsychological damage”