This is Your Brain on Alcohol

by The Discovering Alcoholic on September 11, 2008

Hat Tip and thanks to my tech guru David for the heads up on this one!
This is Your Brain on AlcoholScientist have proven that alcohol does indeed shrink the brain, but hopefully I am better off than Homer there in the picture. This may account for that rattle I never seem to be able to locate in my car during interstate travel, maybe it’s an internal problem.

They also have explained the progressive effect of rising blood alcohol content on the brain. It starts by affecting the cerebral cortex lowering inhibitions and degrading thought process. Then it begins on the limbic system affecting emotional control and producing memory loss. To the chagrin of many an amorous alkie, the hypothalamus is next- increasing desire but ironically reducing actual ability to do anything about it. It takes practice and/or extreme stupidity, but if one can actually drink enough to affect the brain stem the body loses the ability to regulate temperature which can be fatal or simply forgets to breathe.

Now scientists have “discovered” another affect of alcohol on the brain; alcohol intake seems to facilitate positive memories while impairing the retention of negative memories. Of course I could have saved them a few years and a sizable grant by confirming this without any scientific study. It makes sense, how else could an alcoholic who has lost his money, kids, wife, and freedom because of his disease ever be able to rationalize taking another drink?

Click “Read more” to continue…

At first I considered the finding of this study interesting, but lacking any worthwhile utility. It was several days after David had sent me the link that I was able to see the possible benefits of the findings from this study. (Actually it occurred to me as I was pondering what that strange rattling noise was while cruising down the motorway this evening!) Maybe if scientist can understand the process that occurs when an alcoholic can successfully bypass the overwhelming historical negative evidence of past drinking and rationalize starting again they will be able to create better treatment and cognitive behavioral training as a countermeasure.

Just think if you could reverse the process. I doubt many of us would have ever stayed on the sauce long enough to become addicted if we only remembered the painful and embarrassing results of drinking while at the same time blocking out any pleasurable memories!

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