The effect of alcohol on the brain

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In 1961, the American physicists have discovered the movement of blood clot consisting of red blood cells (erythrocytes), which are moved through the capillaries and vessels of not one, but clots (adhesions) from a few to thousands of pieces. Physicists have called these gluing “grape clusters”. As it turned out, the red blood cells sticking together under the influence of alcohol, which persisted up to several days. It was opened to the influence of alcohol on the blood.

This result can be confirmed by experience from the school course of biology: in a glass of water add a few drops of blood and stirred, the water becomes reddish (pink), then in a glass add a few drops of alcohol (vodka) then the blood clot cereal. This experience clearly shows the damage of red blood cells caused by alcohol. In vessels, the same thing happens.

Effects of alcohol on the human brain

Alcohol has a negative impact on virtually all human organs, but the strongest and most destructive is the damage to the brain. The alcohol contained in beer, wine or vodka, is absorbed into the blood along with bloodstream to the human brain, where it begins the process of intensive destruction of the cerebral cortex.

While consuming a small amount (up to 50 grams of alcohol) blood “liquefies”. Ie increases blood flow and mobility of red blood cells, aggregation is reduced. Can be used as a reason for this change of state of the membranes in contact with the alcohol, proved to nerve cells.

Further, the continuation of the drink should be dehydration of blood and blood clots under the influence of alcohol because it inhibits the antidiuretic hormone. Parallel consumption of water can only compensate for the loss, but its amount in the body will not increase. Aggregation (sticking together) eritrotsitov probably will not change.

On the other hand, ethanol is a good solvent, and due to these properties, it is able to dissolve the membranes of red blood cells, after which they are glued, and glued the red blood cells leading to thrombosis, because the sizes of platelets are negligible. Once in the blood, alcohol damages the thin protective layer of erythrocytes, thereby violating their weak negative charge that repels them from each other under normal conditions, and red blood cells begin to “stick together”. Adhesion comes from ethanol, but not from the products of its oxidation: ethanal and acetic acid (it can also obrazuetsja in extremely small quantities). Red blood cells clog the capillaries, including the brain, causing oxygen starvation of tissues, as well as dehydration), which causes a sense of euphoria, while alcohol suppresses the frontal lobes, providing logical thinking.

Effects of alcohol on the human brainHangover. Here certainly is a strong aggregation, because a hangover is accompanied by acidification of the blood. And it is known to cause aggregation due to the decrease of the negative charge on the membranes of red blood cells. While much pH shift is not necessary. Plus – dehydration and thickening of the blood, which leads to acidification of the blood due to tissue hypoxia. Of course, all this is temporary and not much, and it would have truckloads of bodies were taken on holidays.
Ischemic strokes, i.e., bleeding of the brain in alcoholics occur if it is no good. Ie, in this case alcohol helps blood circulation, vasodilatation and reducing clumping of red blood cells.

On the other hand, alcohol thins the blood and speeds up the heart rate, which leads to increased flow of blood, like piping water under high pressure: a new stand, and old… especially red blood cells, as you know, stuck together and caused “traffic jams”, the pressure in the vessel rises and it bursts, filling the space with blood – the cause of heart attacks and strokes.

So, under the influence of alcohol disrupted the cortex and as a result alcohol intoxication. While damaged:

  • occipital part of the brain (controlling the vestibular apparatus) disturbed coordination of movements;
  • disrupted “moral” center of the die cells controlling human behavior, dulled sense of shame, one becomes more brazen the “liberated”;
  • damage to the cells responsible for memory processes, impaired memory, memories are sketchy, the man the next day cannot remember anything about where you were, etc.

Excessive alcohol consumption hinders and slows down your brain, impair attention and memory. Because of these changes, as well as the permanent effects of alcohol on the person, begin a profound change in his character and psyche. In addition to the gradual destruction of individual aspects of mental and psychical side of the brain, alcohol increasingly leads to a shutdown of normal brain function. A change of identity, the processes of its degradation. If at this time not to stop drinking, the full restoration of moral qualities may never happen.

With alcohol concentration of 0.2% greatly disturbed coordination, the person cannot go, speech becomes incoherent, tongue-tied. Is the average degree of intoxication (poisoning). Alcohol Concentration of 0.4% leads to coma. Death from respiratory failure occurs when the blood levels of 0.6 – 0.7% of alcohol.

But alcohol does not kill brain cells, but ONLY inhibits their.


Effects of alcohol abuse on the brain

When taking alcohol, your brain gets kind of signals from glutamate (excitatory acid). Getting to your receptors, it disrupts their normal ability to transmit signals, which ultimately affects your speech, your coordination, your perception of reality, etc.

Substances such as cocaine and LSD act only on certain parts of the brain and work as snipers. Alcohol in this case can be compared to a hand grenade.

Effects of alcohol abuse on the brainAlcohol disrupts cognitive function, reducing the perceptual field. This condition has received the name of alcohol myopia. Thus, intoxicated people perceived from the outside world less information than in a sober state. With the increasing intoxication perception is narrowed only on the individual elements of the situation, while the perception of the overall situation difficult. This leads to changes in response that depends on which aspect of the situation got into a narrowed focus of perception. Thus, increases the probability of an inadequate interpretation of the context of the situation, causing an aggressive response. In addition, alcohol impairs logical thinking and makes use of cognitive mechanisms to the inhibition of the aggressive response and its replacement by a socially acceptable behavior. Sober people can cope with the irritability and aggressiveness of the other person, considering his behavior in a broader context. Alcohol impairs the ability to see the situation as a whole, to respond rationally and increases the aggressive potential.

Alcohol can cause very different changes in the nervous system ranging from euphoria, bouts of generosity to aggression. How the same active substance can cause such different effects. It is impossible to explain the specific sensitivity of a particular person for alcohol, since such a variety of responses is true for one person. The authors suggested that alcohol acts indirectly, through a change in the thinking process, namely by shifting focus from a more distant to a closer task, the development of a kind of “psychological myopia”.

Let’s focus a person’s attention is two problems:

  • Week – interview with management;
  • Tomorrow – you need to buy a washing machine.

The future of the interview is disturbing and gives rise to internal stresses, the purchase of a washing machine on the contrary, even in something that good. The interview will have a greater influence on the destiny of man and therefore is a strong factor. A sober person is experiencing internal discomfort and anxiety due to a future interview. At dinner people drink a glass of wine, the alcohol alters the process of information processing, shifting the focus from a more distant to a closer factor, thus the fact that the interview falls out of the attention of the person, respectively, leaving the resulting anxiety and tension, people gladly made the selection process of the washing machine. Thus manifests sedative effect of alcohol. Suppose a situation you have a friendly party near the person to feel a deep antipathy. To go right you can’t, you just got here and it would be awkward.

In the process of communicating an impulse to physical or verbal aggression. However, in the decision-making process you realize:

  • it would be scandalous, shameful scene;
  • plays back at you, that is not correct;
  • will fight and you will be picked up by the police; and
  • antipathy go into a deep hatred.

All these considerations force you to give up aggression. If you drink, there is a shift of focus from a distant time-consuming tasks to a closer, so the long-term effects (1,2,3,4) fall out of focus and you just cease to take them into account when making decisions. What’s drunker than the man the narrower the focus of attention. With a certain level of alcohol in the blood you know only what is in front of you ham and he should be punished. That is the contentious effect of alcohol. Thus according to the theory of alcohol causes no specific or joy or anger, etc.

Reactions to stimuli are the same as a sober person, but by narrowing the focus of attention, long-term consequences not taken into account when making decisions and actions a person takes “excess” in nature.


So as drinking alcohol alters your perception of reality, you may seem to be random people’s actions were not accidental, but intentional. Therefore, in an already heated companies often have heated arguments.

Was conducted an interesting experiment: 92 men were forced to go a certain distance within 3 hours without food. Then they were given to drink the juice in unmarked glasses (just juice and juice with alcohol).

Then after 30 minutes they were asked to evaluate the actions (she accidentally deleted the e-mail, she tripped on the rope, she was looking for my keys, etc.) — whether they were intentional or accidental.

Almost all participants regardless of the dose of alcohol, if the action was unambiguous, determined it correctly. But as soon as action was ambiguous, participants who drank the juice with alcohol, were inclined to believe that the action was premeditated.

Crime statistics reveals a clear correlation of alcohol and violence. Many alcoholics use this kind of alibi and believe that the drunk can afford to abuse and then blame the alcohol and thus to avoid responsibility for possible damage caused by them. They are less restrained, because they are sure that they have an excuse, and not due to the fact that alcohol directly affects the brain and thought processes. Statistics show that most crimes are committed by persons in alcohol and drugs. According to themselves as alcoholics, many violent acts they would never commit in a “sober mind”. Alcohol affects people’s thoughts and their behavior that weakens the mental process.

Alcohol makes a person a prisoner of faded version of reality in which the breadth, the depth and dimension of his understanding limited. Also alcohol leads to what is called alcohol myopia, as myopia, in which behavior and emotion is disproportionately strong influence of superficial, immediate aspects of experience.

Thus, alcohol intoxication has two important effects:

  • Alcohol Consumption restricts the range of informative signals are perceived in this situation. The person pays attention and thinks only about the most obvious and main aspects of the situation, and ignores the information that could also be important, as it is “on the periphery”.
  • Alcohol Consumption reduces the ability to process and extract the semantic content of the received information. In other words, people do not take into account any information received and not associate it with existing knowledge and ideas.

Video: Alcohol and your Brain

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