When teens go on a binge drinking episode, they may be doing serious damage to the sensitive "white matter" in their brain, a new MRI-based study suggests.
White matter is involved in relaying information between brain cells, the researchers said. This means that damage caused to the developing brain by bouts of heavy drinking could affect thinking and memory, even lowering school performance.
Although white matter impairment has been seen in the brains of adult alcoholics, "we were somewhat surprised that these adolescents who had histories of binge drinking showed significantly poorer quality of their white matter," said lead researcher Susan F. Tapert, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and director of Substance Abuse/Mental Illness at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.
The cause of the damage is not fully understood, Tapert said.
The report was published in the April 22 online edition of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Recently by Jim Liebelt
- For Many Teens Formal Sex Education Is Too LateTuesday, April 15, 2014
- 2014 Prom Spending Down But Still CostlyMonday, April 14, 2014
- What's Hot? 04/11/14Friday, April 11, 2014
- Booze Brands in Pop Lyrics May Spur Teen DrinkingThursday, April 10, 2014
- Stress Hormone May Drive Risk Taking by Teen MotoristsWednesday, April 09, 2014
Recently on Crosswalk Blogs
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content