Effects of Alcohol on the Brain, Animation, Professional version.

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Published 7 years ago
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©Alila Medical Media. All rights reserved.
Voice by: Sue Stern.
All images/videos by Alila Medical Media are for information purposes ONLY and are NOT intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Alcohol, or more specifically, ethanol, affects brain functions in several ways. Alcohol is generally known as a DEPRESSANT of the central nervous system; it INHIBITS brain activities, causing a range of physiological effects. The pleasurable feeling associated with drinking, on the other hand, is linked to alcohol-induced dopamine release in the brain’s reward pathway. Alcohol also increases levels of brain serotonin, a neurotransmitter implicated in mood regulation.
Neurons can be excitatory or inhibitory. Responsiveness or excitability of a neuron is determined by the value of electrical voltage across its membrane.
A balance between excitation and inhibition is essential for normal brain functions. Short-term alcohol consumption DISRUPTS this balance, INCREASING INHIBITORY and DECREASING EXCITATORY functions. Specifically, alcohol inhibits responsiveness of neurons via its interaction with the GABA system. GABA is a major INHIBITORY neurotransmitter. Upon binding, it triggers GABA receptors, ligand-gated chloride channels, to open and allow chloride ions to flow into the neuron, making it more NEGATIVE and LESS likely to respond to new stimuli. Alcohol is known to POTENTIATE GABA receptors, keeping the channels open for a longer time and thus exaggerating this inhibitory effect. GABA receptors are also the target of certain anesthetic drugs. This explains the SEDATIVE effect of alcohol.
At the same time, alcohol also inhibits the glutamate system, a major excitatory circuit of the brain. Glutamate receptors, another type of ion channel, upon binding by glutamate, open to allow POSITIVELY-charged ions into the cell, making it more POSITIVE and MORE likely to generate electrical signals. Alcohol binding REDUCES channel permeability, LOWERING cation influx, thereby INHIBITING neuron responsiveness. GABA ACTIVATION and glutamate INHIBITION together bring DOWN brain activities. Depending on the concentration of ethanol in the blood, alcohol’s depressant effect can range from slight drowsiness to blackout, or even respiratory failure and death.
Chronic, or long-term consumption of alcohol, however, produces an OPPOSITE effect on the brain. This is because SUSTAINED inhibition caused by PROLONGED alcohol exposure eventually ACTIVATES the brain’s ADAPTATION response. In attempts to restore the equilibrium, the brain DECREASES GABA inhibitory and INCREASES glutamate excitatory functions to compensate for the alcohol’s effect. As the balance tilts toward EXCITATION, more and more alcohol is needed to achieve the same inhibitory effect. This leads to overdrinking and eventually addiction. If alcohol consumption is ABRUPTLY reduced or discontinued at this point, an ill-feeling known as WITHDRAWAL syndrome may follow. This is because the brain is now HYPER-excitable if NOT balanced by the inhibitory effect of alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is characterized by tremors, seizures, hallucinations, agitation and confusion. Excess calcium produced by overactive glutamate receptors during withdrawal is toxic and may cause brain damage. Withdrawal-related anxiety also contributes to alcohol-seeking behavior and CONTINUED alcohol abuse.

💬 Comments
Author

I quit drinking 7 years ago and video's like this just help my morale so that I can feel good about staying sober. This report was excellently by the way.

Author — @michaelrobinson2651

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“withdrawal related anxiety” is only briefly mentioned but it’s very real and keeps people drinking. Alcohol starts out reducing anxiety, then as you age it causes SEVERE anxiety and there’s no relief in sight. More drinking ceases to help at this point. It’s hell. The only relief I’ve found is quitting for good and finding more healthy activities to fill my spare time. Alcohol is poison, period. But knowing myself I’ll probably get blitzed this weekend.

Author — @rygi23

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This actually helped me understand the effects of mixing alcohol with certain other drugs and why certain reactions occur.

Author — @camerica7400

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THIS NEEDS MORE VIEWS. My good friend became addicted to alcohol and started having seizures. But after watching this video, it's never been more CLEAR how exaggerated her drinking habits were

Author — @TGMinnieeMee

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Thank you for doing this video. It explained a lot. A very dear friend of mine recently died due to a non-alcohol related reason. But he had brain deteration. I looked that up and came across "cerebral atrophy" and "alcohol dementia". I found some info on the dementia and it explained a lot. Could you please do a video on the cerebral atrophy, please. I'd really appreciate it. Thank you.

Author — @theresevincent552

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Great video! I know that the GABA molecule underreaction is related to autism. Would it be possible to make a video showing what effects controlled amounts of alcohol would have on the GABA system during the brain overgrowth period? The answer might be horrific, I'm not a scientist, but I couldn't find any research on it either way.

Author — @YearZeroVids

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the societal pressures based around consumption of alcohol are pretty prevalent in early adulthood, i.e bars, clubs, social drinking is the norm, and personally even though I don't rlly want to effect my body by consuming it, I accept that I most likely will in certain scenarios, however much like drugs beyond recreational use, do not consume it, if you are sad, don't do drugs don't drink alcohol, these things are bad for you even when used recreationally but certain scenarios make the bad health factors less important to you, but they should never be used as a coping strategy, all that does is breed reliance and addiction.

Author — @kamiman448

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This is the main reason I stopped drinking. For the first time in my life at 23 I started experiencing psychosis, altered reality, rapid mood swings, and exaggerated depression.

Author — @rugpull500

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I also quit drinking back in 2016 when diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. Changed my life for the better I don't miss it at all.Sadly it took so long to realize what's important in life everyday is a blessing.

Author — @filibertounzuetajr.2392

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Awesome instructional video, only 5 minutes and it makes so much sense . Most doctors don’t even understand alcohol aka ethanol to this day on the effects on the brain . I’m struggling to this day with anxiety and would also like to know what benzodiaepzipines do to the brain since I’ve taken them and I drink

Author — @michaelmccarthy9833

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As a Muslim we are forbidden to drink alcohol and everyday it makes me more aware of the damages and harm alcohol is causing drinkers financially physically mentally and emotionally.

Author — @alibatcha46

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This is true. I regret drinking alcohol ever since I've been facing the consiquences. I went from loving alcohol to hating it. I'm glad that I'm through with it and living healthy

Author — @Luke-vf6qc

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Drinking can be forgotten only by two thing..
1. By knowledge 📖📚
2.by fear 😨

Author — @devsinghdharavath7172

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6 days sober after a 4 day binder. The 48 hours after the last drink was absolute hell. I like being able to text this without my fingers struggling to steady :)

Author — @nicholasgonzales9254

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I don't drink alcohol now for 5 years. Sobriety has changed my life for the better. Don't miss the stuff.

Author — @lorettachacon4383

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Good video, I was looking for information on acetaldehyde and it's toxic effect, getting informed about how ethanol affects the body makes one more aware of the dangers of this drug.

Author — @indrankistensamy3084

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Anxiety and panic attacks are the worst things ever.

Author — @seansalata717

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very informative and at the same time simple and easy to understand. Many thanks

Author — @user-li3vr3jp5y

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You know what's weird...while in college I (along with everyone else in my dorm) would be considered raging alcoholics for 4 straight years. After college I pretty much cold Turkey stopped drinking that way but never ever felt withdrawal. Why? The amount of alcohol we consumed over 4 years SHOULD have caused some sort of addiction, no?

Author — @BaseballCards35

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I used to drink a lot before. I've been sober about 7 months. I suspect the alcohol has damaged my brain a bit (gaba receptors etc).
I feel better now than I did when I first decided to quit but I still deal with some anxiety and depression though I probably had that to a smaller degree while I was drinker also but I just didn't notice it then.
I think my brain is slowly recovering.
Would I set my recovery back or damage my brain receptors etc more if I were to use benzodiazepines for example in small amounts maybe once a month?

Author — @ddtt958