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Alcohol has many effects on the body and can potentially damage the brain. How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain in the Long-Term? It’s possible to develop an alcohol use disorder (AUD) as a result of drinking. Long-term and short-term effects can result in a range of physical and psychological changes. A new study published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, the official journal of the Research Society on Alcoholism and the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism, finally makes use of the technology to gain a deeper understanding of the long-term effects alcohol has on white brain matter. How Does Alcoholism Affect the Brain? High blood alcohol content (BAC) can affect the cerebral cortex, hypothalamus, pituitary gland and medulla. Some of the effects are alcohol are clear and obvious, while others are not. Alcohol affects the parts of the brain that control movement, speech, judgement, memory, thus causing the short term effects of excessive drinking, which include slurred speech, memory lapses, aggressive outbursts and impulsive behavior, and loss of motor coordination. Unfortunately, long-term alcohol abuse can affect your brain and many other areas in your life. Here’s how alcohol can affect your body: Brain: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. The Link Between Alcohol & Dementia. How alcohol affects the brain is likely more complex than most people think. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination. This is what results in the most common minor side effects, including slow reaction time, slurred speech and sluggish movements. Alcohol affects the brain greatly, both in the short-term and long-term. According to a 2013 survey conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health on the effects of alcoholism, approximately 52.2% of Americans 12 years and above were categorized as current alcohol users. The long-term effects of alcohol can completely rewire your brain, too, increasing the risk of depression and other conditions. 6.3% of them were heavy alcohol users. Learn more here. Drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health. Because of the serious short- and long-term effects of alcohol use and misuse, it is essential that teens, parents, teachers, and health professionals gain a deeper understanding of teenage drinking and brain development, and we must all work together to dispel common misconceptions about teens and alcohol. Alcohol’s effects often mask the damage someone will sustain over extended periods of drinking. 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