The study found that the brain damage can be irreparable.
Mary-Louise Risher, lead author in the study said, “In the eyes of the law, once people reach the age of 18, they are considered adult, but the brain continues to mature and refine all the way into the mid-20’s.”
Researchers have conducted the study on rats and they found that short term alcohol consumption had long term effects on the brains of the rats.
Young rats were given alcohol for 16 days and then they have stopped giving alcohol to rats. The rats were allowed to mature for over 24 to 29 days until they have reached their adulthood.
Researchers said, “Human adolescence is a crucial stage of neurological development during which ethanol (EtOH) consumption is often at its highest. Alcohol abuse during adolescence may render individuals at heightened risk for subsequent alcohol abuse disorders, cognitive dysfunction, or other neurological impairments by irreversibly altering long-term brain function.”
Researchers found that the hippocampus of the brain is affected by excessive binge drinking and it can cause memory problems and greater sensitivity of the brain to traumatic injury and disease in later life.
CDC has warned that binge drinking rates are soaring in US, and women are found to be drinking much more than men.
Since 2005, binge drinking is up by 8.9 percent, and the female binge drinking is up by 17.2 percent whereas male rate is mere 4.9 percent comparatively.
Researchers said, “Taken together, these findings reveal that repeated alcohol exposure during adolescence results in enduring structural and functional abnormalities in the hippocampus, these synaptic changes in the hippocampal circuits may help to explain learning-related behavioral changes in adult animals pre-exposed to AIE.”