An international group of scientists from Australia and the United Kingdom has determined the three stripes age in which the human brain is most vulnerable to alcohol consumption. The research, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), confirms the global harmful effect that alcohol consumption causes on the body, as well as its irreparable damage to the brain.
The most harmful effect of alcohol is observed on the brain of the fetus during pregnancy. If the mother overconsumes alcohol, the risk of permanent neurological impairment in the child increases, which may also be affected by birth defects known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Even moderate or light consumption is largely associated with poorer psychological or behavioral outcomes for children, the researchers warn.
Similar risks present between the ages of 15 and 19, when excessive consumption is linked to decreased brain volume, of the functional connectivity of nerve cells, as well as with a certain deficit of cognitive function.
The third risk group is represented by those over 65 years of age. Although excessive alcohol consumption is not as common at that age, the consequences are harmful to the brain even if the amount of ethanol in the blood is low.
The study also concludes that alcohol is one of the modifiable risk factors for any type of dementia (particularly early-onset).
After noting the adverse effects of alcohol on the brain, the authors insist that their findings “are limited by the observational nature of the analyzes” and advocate for greater replication of the results with a greater focus on causal models.
In this way, scientists believe that it could “increase longevity and quality of life” by achieving “reducing the prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, aberrant neurocognitive development in adolescence and dementia in adulthood” .
Bmj, Rt, Youtube.