The Resulting Brain Damage from Alcohol Abuse

by Ed Philips

Brain imaging studies have proven that long term alcohol abuse can physically shrink the parts of the brain that control learning and memory. This shrinkage is greatest in the cortex of the frontal lobe which is the center of higher intellectual functions and naturally this shrinkage will grow with age and continued alcohol use. The first noticeable sign of damage from alcohol is short-term memory loss.

A five year study that performed periodic imaging in alcoholics showed progressive brain shrinkage over the study span. Not only did the test show the level of brain shrinkage was directly correlated to the amount of consumed alcohol, but that the shrinkage was dramatically increased beyond anything in normal range.

Any alcoholic who drinks larges amounts of alcohol over a long period of time is a candidate for alcohol related brain damage. How extensive the damage is depends on the system of the drinker, the type and amount of alcohol consumed, and diet that accompanies the chronic drinking.

Brain damage can also be furthered by the nutritional problems that are associated with drinking. Malnutrition is often the result of excessive drinking and can affect the brain. Vital areas of the brain are damaged due to vitamin deficiencies, thiamine in particular. Alcohol creates increased toxicity levels in the body even after alcohol use which damages vital to include not only the brain, but also the liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Serious effects on the central nervous system are also the result of alcohol.

If caught early enough, much of the alcohol damage can possibly be reversed and can sometimes disappear entirely. This reversal can be best supported by a complete abstinence from alcohol, an improved diet and by taking vitamins, especially B1 and thiamine. In addition, there is a vitamin called milk thistle that can ever help restore liver functions.

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