Study: Alcoholism affects younger brains

September 15, 2005

A Duke University study indicates adolescents and young adults with alcohol-use disorders have a smaller prefrontal cortex.

Researchers said alcohol-use disorders are known to be associated with abnormalities of the prefrontal cortex, thalamus and the cerebellar hemispheres in adults' brains.

The new study of those same brain structures in adolescents and young adults with alcohol-use disorders has found a smaller prefrontal cortex.

But scientists said they are still uncertain whether that represents a vulnerability to, or a consequence of, early onset drinking.

"This is the first study to examine the sizes of these brain structures in adolescents and young adults," said Michael De Bellis, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Healthy Childhood Brain Development Research Program at Duke University Medical Center.

He said adolescents were defined as 13 to 17 years of age, and young adults were defined as 18 to 21 years of age. All of the study's subjects were recruited from substance-abuse treatment programs, and had co-existing mental-health disorders.

The research is detailed in the September issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Olympic teams to swim, boat in Rio's filth

Related Stories

Olympic teams to swim, boat in Rio's filth

July 30, 2015

Athletes competing in next year's Summer Olympics here will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games, an Associated Press ...

Neuroscience-based algorithms make for better networks

July 9, 2015

When it comes to developing efficient, robust networks, the brain may often know best. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have, for the first time, determined the rate ...

Scientists sleuth out proteins involved in Crohn's disease

July 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —University of Delaware researchers have identified a protein, hiding in plain sight, that acts like a bodyguard to help protect and stabilize another key protein, that when unstable, is involved in Crohn's disease. ...

Recommended for you

New nanomaterial maintains conductivity in 3-D

September 4, 2015

An international team of scientists has developed what may be the first one-step process for making seamless carbon-based nanomaterials that possess superior thermal, electrical and mechanical properties in three dimensions.

Astronomers detect the farthest galaxy yet with Keck telescope

September 4, 2015

A team of Caltech researchers that has spent years searching for the earliest objects in the universe now reports the detection of what may be the most distant galaxy ever found. In an article published August 28, 2015 in Astrophysical ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.