Teenage Binge Drinking May Cause Brain Changes

A recent study published within the journal Neurobiology of Disease discovered teen binge drinking might disrupt brain development and gene regulation, leading to anxiety and alcohol misuse into adulthood.

The current studies were performed on adolescent rats. In order to copy human patterns of binge drinking, scientists provided rats alcohol for 2 days straight, did not offer them any for 2 days (just water), and repeated the pattern for 13 days. A few of the rats were studied following the thirteen days, yet offered an option of water and alcohol to measure for abnormal, new behaviors.

The results exhibited that rats were affected by alcoholic beverages into adulthood even following the first study. The rats suffered anxiety-like behaviors and consumed more alcohol than water. Researchers found the changes derive from the brain’s amygdala.

As the amygdala was assessed in rats that drank alcohol, histone proteins and DNA were wrapped tightly. Also, there were higher levels of a protein referred to as HDAC2, believed to trigger the DNA to wrap tighter around the histones.

(Read article here: http://www.medicaldaily.com/teen-binge-drinking-can-lead-brain-changes-making-alcohol-abuse-more-likely-adulthood-328158)