Heavy Alcohol Use and the Brain Cause and Effect Essay by write123

Heavy Alcohol Use and the Brain
A review of the effects of heavy alcohol consumption on the brain.
# 105930 | 2,365 words | 6 sources | APA | 2008 | US

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper relates that there are many studies into the long-term effects of heavy alcohol use and notes that it may lead to shrinkage of brain material. This in turn may lead to short-term memory deficits. The paper also relates that it is known that heavy alcohol use impairs the hippocampus which affects memory.

Brain Shrinkage and Short Term Memory Loss
Hippocampus Activity and Memory Loss

From the Paper:

"As discussed earlier in the essay, heavy consumption has been associated for some time that with reductions in the numbers of cholinergic neurons in the forebrain. The forebrain cholinergic neurons are distinguished into two groups, those of the basal ganglia and those of the basal forebrain. The cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain project to the cortical regions, and the most rostral of these project to the allocortical regions such as the hippocampus. Therefore reductions in numbers of these cholinergic neurons will lead to reductions in activity of these allocortical regions, including the hippocampus. It is also possible that alterations in modulatory transmitter inputs such as cholinergic innervations may also play a role in the reduction of hippocampus activity without the actual loss of cholinergic neurons themselves. However in tests which have been performed on rhesus monkey models it has been shown that hippocampal activity reduction which is related solely to these alterations in modulatory input and not reductions in numbers of cholinergic neurons are unrelated to observed changes in memory function of any kind (Calhoun 475). This does not mean however that the reduction in hippocampal activity related to actual loss of cholinergic neurons does not lead to degeneration of memory function."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • , S., B. Bandelow, K. Javaheripour, A. Muller, D. Degner, J. Willhelm, U. Havemann-Reinecke, W. Sperling, E. Ruther and J. Kornhuber. "Hyperhomocysteinemia as a new risk factor for brain shrinkage in patients with alcoholism." Neuroscience Letters 335, issue 3 (2003): 179-182.
  • Calhoun, Michael E., Ying Mao, Jeffrey A. Roberts and Peter R.Rapp. "Reduction in hippocampal cholinergic innervation is unrelated to recognition impairment in rhesus monkeys." The Journal of Comparative Neurology 475, issue 2 (2004): 238-246.
  • Fragkouli, Apostolia, Catherine Hearn, Mick Errington, Sam Cooke, Maria Grigoriou, Tim Bliss, Fotini Stylianpoulou and Vassilis Pachnis. "Loss of forebrain cholinergic neurons and impairment in spatial learning memory in Lhx7-deficient mice." European Journal of Neuroscience 21, issue 11 (2005): 2923-2938.
  • Gericke, C.A., O. Schulte-Herbruggen, T. Arendt and R. Hellweg. "Chronic alcohol intoxication in rats leads to a strong but transient increase in NGF levels in distinct brain regions." Journal of Neural Transmission 113 (2006): 813-820.
  • Rodrigue, Karen M. and Naftali Raz. "Shrinkage of the Entorhinal Cortex over five years predicts memory performance in healthy adults." The Journal of Neuroscience 24, issue 4 (2004): 956-963.

Cite this Cause and Effect Essay:

APA Format

Heavy Alcohol Use and the Brain (2008, July 21) Retrieved December 07, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/cause-and-effect-essay/heavy-alcohol-use-and-the-brain-105930/

MLA Format

"Heavy Alcohol Use and the Brain" 21 July 2008. Web. 07 December. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/cause-and-effect-essay/heavy-alcohol-use-and-the-brain-105930/>