Adolescent Alcohol Use Affects Brain Structure and Function in Adulthood

NIAAA SPECTRUM (09/2015) – Repeated exposure to alcohol during adolescence can cause structural and functional abnormalities in the brain that last into adulthood, according to a study published in June in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Scientists have long known that human adolescence is a crucial time for brain growth and maturation, and have noted that chronic excessive alcohol use during adolescence is associated with memory problems and other cognitive deficits in adulthood. Thus, many have hypothesized that alcohol abuse, which is common during adolescence, might have long-term harmful effects on brain development and function. Read more

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