Drinking alcohol can cause the brain to shrink – VnExpress

Alcohol abuse will make the brain’s cells and nerve fibers prone to shrinkage, damaging the brain, so if you drink it, it should be limited to a moderate dose.

Gray matter in the cerebral cortex controls most of the brain’s complex mental functions. The cerebral cortex is filled with nerve cells that connect by nerve fibers to different regions of the brain and to other nerve cells inside the brain and spinal cord called white matter.

These nerve fibers have many shorter fibers called dendrites that branch outward like tree roots to allow the nerve cells to “talk” to other neurons. A neuron can communicate with at least 5 or at most 10,000 other neurons at the same time.

According to the US National Institutes of Health, alcohol abuse can make the brain’s white matter and dendrites more prone to shrinkage, damaging the brain. Alcohol can also cause chemical changes that affect neurotransmitter function.

Some studies published in journals Science Fiction of America (Science Direct) also showed that the brains of people who abuse alcohol are smaller and lighter than those of people without alcohol abuse. This alcohol-related brain shrinkage affects regions of the brain that are used to communicate with other regions. In addition, the parts of the brain that allow neurons to communicate with neighboring neurons are also affected.

Acetaldehyde, a substance created when alcohol is metabolized can cause toxic effects such as malnutrition, especially a lack of thiamine, an essential nutrient that all the body’s tissues need to function properly. , Generate energy from nutrients. Alcohol abuse can lead to cirrhosis, head injury, and sleep apnea. According to scientists from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, Wayne State University (USA), thiamine deficiency and alcohol-induced cirrhosis contribute to brain damage.

Acetaldehyde, a substance produced when alcohol is metabolized, can cause conditions that damage the brain. Image: Freepik.

Some alcohol-induced brain damage can be reversed by stopping drinking and maintaining abstaining from alcohol for a while. But some damage is permanent, irreversible. The most permanent damage caused by alcohol is the loss of neurons (which cannot be replaced once lost) including: cells in the anterior cortex, cerebellum, and other areas deep within the brain.

Alcohol withdrawal can help reverse nerve fiber (dendritic) contraction. Research by the US National Institutes of Health shows that dendrites will begin to grow again after a few weeks or months of abstaining from alcohol. When that happens, brain function can be improved.

Brain damage from cirrhosis can begin to progress well with treatment. Thiamine deficiency brain damage in people who abuse alcohol is treatable with thiamine supplements, but repeated thiamine deficiency can cause permanent brain damage.

In addition, long-term heavy drinking affects frontal lobe functions of the brain such as inhibition, decision-making, problem-solving, and judgment. This type of brain damage makes it difficult for you to stay awake for long. People with alcohol use disorders may be able to limit brain-related damage by abstaining from alcohol, maintaining a long-term state of sobriety as an incentive to quit drinking.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are several tips for cutting down on drinking. Write down the maximum number of drinks you want to drink per day and the maximum number of days of the week you want to drink and then stick to it. This helps you to limit yourself, thereby cutting down on alcohol.

Drink alcohol slowly and siply, alternately drinking non-alcoholic beverages (water, juice) with alcohol, eat or do something at a time of cravings, avoid triggers for wanting to drink (places, people, things) are also recommended tips for cutting down on drinking.

Mai Cat
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