Youth at Risk for Alcohol Abuse Show Decreased Brain Function


A study shows that youth with alcoholism in their families show decreased brain function:

"New findings show that adolescents with a family history of alcohol abuse show decreased function in the brain

  • Adolescence is a time of significant maturation, physically and emotionally
  • New findings indicate that adolescents who have a family history of alcohol abuse demonstrated significantly decreased neural activity in the frontal lobe
  • This could present a unique neurobiological vulnerability for adolescents at risk of developing alcohol abuse

The period known as adolescence is a significant time of change for the individual experiencing it. Some of the most significant changes that occur are located within the prefrontal cortex in the brain, which is involved in decision making, social understanding and the ability to view situations from another individual's point of view. But, adolescence is also a time where many youths begin drinking, which can have serious effects on brain development.

However, new research exploring the neural processes of adolescents with alcohol abuse in their families has indicated that a positive family history may confer a significant risk for future alcoholism. "

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