Alcoholism

By: Sarah Nemmers Period 4

What areas are affected?

The cerebral cortex (frontal lobe, occipital lobe, temporal lobe, and parietal lobe) is affected by the alcohol but the frontal lobe is the major lobe affected. Cerebral Cortex is where processing and consciousness is centered and alcohol depresses the ability to process thoughts and senses together.

Brain/Nervous System

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that send signals throughout the body that control behavior, emotions, and thought process. Neurotransmitters are either excitatory or inhibitory; stimulate brain electrical activity or decrease brain electrical activity. Alcohol increases the effect of the inhibitory neurotransmitter Gaba. Gaba causes slow movement and slurred speech. Alcohol inhibits the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate causing physiological slowdown. When Gaba is increasing and glutamate is decreasing the alcohol also increases the amount of dopamine which creates the feeling of pleasure.

Alcohol affecting the liver and its tissues

The liver is to filter all the blood in our bodies by breaking down and eliminating toxins and excess blood sugar. The liver lets us digest food, absorb nutrients, control infections, and get rid of toxic substances in our bodies. Alcohol is a toxin that is broken down as the body begins to get rid of these foreign components. Heavy drinking causes the liver to become fatty. Continues drinking causes inflammation which makes the fibrous tissue in the liver increase and prevents the necessary blood supply from reaching the liver cells. Without oxygen supplied by this blood, liver cells die and become scar tissue and can end in liver failure.

Social and Physcial affects of Alcoholism

Social:

-Family arguments over alcohol consumption can leave a strain on relationships

-Working hungover can lead to poor performance and losing your job

-Drinking and driving may lead to fines, jail time, or death

Physical

-Heavy consumption of alcohol over a long period of time can cause damage to all parts of the body

-Inflammed stomach lining, bleeding, and stomach ulcers

-Inflamed pancreas

-High blood pressure, irregular pulse, enlarged heart and changes in blood cells

Picture on the right shows a alcohol damaged liver on the left and a healthy liver on the right

Statistics

-More than 2 million Americans suffer from liver disease cause by alcohol

-50% of all reported crimes and 1/3 of all domestic violence incidents include alcohol

-22,000 premature deaths & 1,000 suicides occur each year from alcohol

-70% of all admissions to the hospital involve alcohol consumption