While you may be familiar with a doctor’s recommendation of wine for heart health, alcohol itself (like any other legal drug) is a potentially dangerous substance with a high risk for abuse or addiction. As a result of long-term use, people can develop severe forms of dependency and (in the worst-case scenario) suffer from a range of health problems like liver disease and/or blood-alcohol poisoning. However, as you may have guessed, alcohol can also wreak havoc on the brain. In fact, research studies have confirmed that portions of alcohol abusers’ and alcoholics’ brains begin to shrink and exhibit severe lesions as a direct result of long-term alcohol use.
Lack of Balance and Executive Function
Overall, scientists made an interesting discovery after researching the connection between heavy alcohol use and a loss of these two abilities: a synchronization between the frontal cortex and the cerebellum. Simply put, when the cerebellum shrinks, executive functions begin to dwindle. For example, if an alcoholic could barely put one foot in front of the other on a strain line, he would technically be suffering from damage to executive functions. Scientists have also determined that long-term users have a hard time recognizing the difference between 2D and 3D figures.
Rewiring or Cutting Circuits
In a recent report, a researcher from the University of Stanford discovered that alcohol abuse shrinks or damages the circuitry through a compound process, meaning the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex are ruined at the same time. On one hand, the prefrontal cortex completes activity through the pons, while the cerebellum operates via the thalamus and frontal cortex. As a result of deficits in these regions, alcoholics suffer from a literal rewiring of the brain’s circuitry.
One Big, Compound Problem
In the assessment conducted by Dr. Edith Sullivan, she analyzed 25 alcoholic men and assessed their prefrontal-to-cerebellar circuitry. Ultimately, Dr. Sullivan discovered that abnormalities or changes in the circuitry of these systems could ultimately trigger frontal cortex shrinkage. Likewise, she has speculated that the cerebellum may (in some way) directly affect the prefrontal cortex, explaining why alcohol abusers and alcoholics have poor balance and coordination.
Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol is a tricky drug that might be beneficial for the heart, but you must remember that (like any other potent drug) it has a high rate of abuse or addiction (and possibly dependency). However, you must never doubt that you can overcome your problems. If you are suffering from alcohol use disorder or have a friend or loved one who is enduring this same illness. get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the rehabilitation process and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle.
If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your alcohol abuse or addiction troubles today. The time to take back your life is now.