Brain Scans Reveal Possible Brain Damage In Young Adult Binge-Drinkers

By Christopher Fisher, PhD


It is considered a rite of passage among young people – acting out their independence through heavy, episodic drinking. But a new University of Cincinnati study, the first of its kind nationally, is showing how binge drinking among adolescents and young adults could be causing serious damage to a brain that’s still under development at this age. Researcher Tim McQueeny, a doctoral student in the UC Department of Psychology, is presenting the findings this week at the 34th annual meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in Atlanta.

High-resolution brain scans on a sample of 29 weekend binge drinkers, aged 18 to 25, found that binge-drinking – consuming four or more drinks in one incident for females and five or more drinks for males – was linked to cortical-thinning of the pre-frontal cortex, the section of the brain related to executive functioning such as paying attention, planning and making decisions, processing emotions and controlling impulses leading to irrational behavior.

Full story at The Behavioral Medicine Report

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Will Savage

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