1 April 2013
Annotated Bibliography: Effects of Alcohol on the Brain
Research Question: What long lasting effects does binge drinking have on the brain? As a college student, alcohol is a very real and prevalent temptation. It is a normal occurrence for a Friday night to be filled with friends, a bonfire, and alcohol out on the lake. Unfortunately, not many students know the effects of alcohol on their brain. I took a personal interest in this subject because alcoholism runs deep in my family. I want to know what effects my personal consumption of alcohol have on my brain and how they will affect my life if I continue to drink or choose to stop.
Alfonso-Loeches, Silvia, and Consuelo Guerri. "Molecular and Behavioral Aspects of the Actions of Alcohol on the Adult and Developing Brain." Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences 48.1 (2011): 19-47. Web. 5 Apr. 2013. In “Molecular and Behavioral Aspects of the Actions of Alcohol on the Adult and Developing Brain,” the authors specifically mention the prenatal effects alcohol can have on a woman’s baby. Alfonso-Loeches and Guerri say that “drinking during gestation can lead to a range of physical, learning and behavioral defects”, for example, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Another time when alcohol is most consequential to brain function is during adolescence. Since the brain is still maturing and learning new things, alcohol causes short and long term problems. For instance, it causes “alterations in both gene expression regulation and the molecules involved in cell-cell interactions” meaning the brain will not function to its full potential because it is slow to respond.
This source seems reliable because they have over four hundred citings. It is current because it was written in 2011. Silvia Alfonso-Loeches is qualified to write this article as she has her doctorate in cellular pathology. She is well researched in the way the brain cells work and how they function. Since she knows the way brain cells function normally, this gives her the knowledge to see the difference in brain cells under the influence of alcohol. Ali, Shahid, Milankumar Nathani, Shahgufta Jabeen, Ijlal Yazdani, Charles D. Mouton, Rahn K. Bailey, Mona Mahr, Rebecca J. Pate, and Wayne J. Riley. "Alcohol: The Lubricant to Suicidality." Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience 10.1 (2013): 9-20. Web. 5 Apr. 2013.
In this source, the authors are looking at the correlation between consumption of alcohol and suicide rates. Although there is no direct connection, there is proof that alcohol has an influence on suicide. For instance, alcohol, when consumed, is absorbed through your stomach, to your blood stream, into the brain. Once in the brain, depending on the level of consumption, alcohol can either give great feelings of pleasure and happiness or cause feelings of hopelessness and depression. In conclusion, the authors decided that although alcohol cannot be pinned as a direct source for suicidal tendency, it does reduce the thought barriers that sober minds can block.
In their article, the authors indicate that they used statistical data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the National Institute of Mental Health, thus giving credence to this source. They only referred to articles from 1960 through 2012 and narrowed their research to only 82 articles. This article was very helpful in my research because in order to know what kinds of effects alcohol has on the brain, I needed to know what part of the brain it affects. They did not leave any questions unanswered and were very thorough in their explanations and their opinion in that although alcohol doesn’t directly cause suicides, it is a gateway for it. Bernosky-Smith, Kimberly A., Erin E. Shannon, Alicia J. Roth, and Anthony Liguori. "Alcohol Effects on Simulated Driving in Frequent and Infrequent Binge Drinkers." Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical &...