Binge Drinking may rewire a teen’s brain opening them to higher risk of depression and addiction in later life

This may be more science than you might want to know, students, so strap on your protective goggles.  Research carried out at the University of Illinois did postmortem analysis on 44 brains from people who died in the mid to late fifties.  Of the deceased 11 were heavy binge drinkers as teenagers, 11 binge drank later in life and 22 had no history of alcohol abuse. 

UI Professor Subhash Pandey analyzed brain tissue from these 44 samples and found that those who binge drank as teens had between 30 and 40 percent less BDNF.

BDNF promotes the survival of neurons by playing a role in the growth, maturation and maintenance of these nerve cells. The protein is found in the amygdala, which detects fear and prepares the body for emergencies. 

Professor Pandey also states “BDNF is needed for normal development in the brain and for connections to form between neurons. If levels are lowered due to alcohol exposure then the brain will not develop normally.”  The altered function of the amygdala may lead individuals to be more susceptible to anxiety or develop alcohol use disorder later in life.

This biological research in many ways reinforces the blog we just posted on neuro science.  .  It further confirms the issues we at Gobi are concerned about when it comes to teen use.  Namely, that heavy substance use by teens is harmful and can lead to complication later in life.

Our aim with Gobi is to help teens interrupt the cycle of substance use and give them the chance to make healthier choices.