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Alcoholism and the Brain

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Alcoholism can have minor to major negative effects on the brain. Alcoholism can cause a person to have minor memory loss and major effects of alcoholism on the brain can cause a deadly condition known as Hepatic Encephalopathy (a worsening of brain function that occurs when the liver is no longer able to remove toxic substances in the blood.) In cases of alcoholism, it is related to cirrhosis of the liver.

Alcoholism and the Brain - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a condition that infants are born with it effects the baby’s growth, and causes mental, and physical problems. FAS is related to and may occur when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol. Doctors are not sure how much alcohol causes fetal alcohol syndrome, which is why they strongly advise against pregnant women consuming alcohol.

Alcoholism and the Brain - Teenage Drinking

Recent studies indicate that alcohol and the teenage brain do not mix well. Binge drinking can cause behavioral problems and lead to depression later in life. Not to mention alcohol poising claims numerous teenage lives each year. An FMRI scan of the brain of a teenage alcoholic often shows a lack of motor skills, learning disabilities and memory loss.

Alcoholism and the Brain - Adults

Mild to moderate drinking over a prolonged period of time can cause the brain to shrink and affect a persons cognitive and motor skills. It also affects a person memory and can lead to the early onset of dementia. Alcoholism is also known to cause hearing loss in adults.


There is no doubt that alcoholism has negative effects on the brain most of which are irreversible and excessive drinking can lead to brain damage that renders a person handicap and often in a nursing home at a young age.