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One of the things that teenagers try is drinking alcohol.
To assess age-dependent effects of alcohol, Markwiese and colleagues (1998) compared the performance of alcohol-exposed adolescent and adult rats in the Morris water maze task. Each animal underwent 5 days of training to learn the location of the platform. Before each training session, one group of animals received no alcohol, and two other groups received one of two different alcohol doses. The investigators then compared how long it took the alcohol-exposed and control animals to remember the location of the platform. Among the adult animals, only those exposed to the highest alcohol concentration showed learning impairments compared with the control group. In contrast, adolescent animals also showed impairments after they had received the lower alcohol dose (Markwiese et al. 1998). This experiment demonstrates that adolescent rats are more vulnerable to alcohol’s effects on memory and learning than are adult rats. It is not known if the same age-related difference exists in humans, as corresponding experiments in human adolescents cannot be done for obvious reasons. However, as mentioned previously, one study comparing people in their early twenties with people in their late twenties found that the younger age group seemed more vulnerable to alcohol-induced memory impairment (Acheson et al. 1998).
The problem is, the issue of underage drinking and the nationwide ineffectiveness of the drinking age law of twenty-one isn't debated and discussed as much and as aggressively as it should be.
Teenage Drinking And It's Effect On Health Essay Sample
Although it is beyond the scope of this article to review the changes occurring in various brain structures and neurotransmitter systems in more detail, this brief description demonstrates that adolescence is a period of profound alterations in brain function. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that alcohol’s effects on the brain and behavior may differ for adolescents and adults. The following sections will review some of the differences in sensitivity to alcohol that have been identified using animal models.
GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain—that is, it represses the activity of other brain cells. Alcohol generally enhances the effects of GABA on its receptors. This enhanced GABA activation may play a role in mediating the sedative effects of alcohol and other sedating agents (Mihic and Harris 1997). In addition, alcohol’s effects on GABA and its receptors are thought to contribute to the development of tolerance to and dependence on alcohol (Mihic and Harris 1997). Like dopamine, the GABA system changes substantially during adolescence. Studies in rats have found that the number of GABA receptors, and thus the activity of the GABA system, increases markedly in several brain structures during early adolescence (Moy et al. 1998).
Teen Drinking: Cause and Effect Essay Example | Topics …
These observations demonstrate that, as with alcohol’s motor-impairing effects, adolescent animals are substantially less sensitive to alcohol’s sedative effects. Mechanisms that may contribute to this lower sensitivity are discussed in the following section.
To better characterize alcohol’s effects on the developing organism, researchers also have evaluated alcohol’s sedative effects in rats of different ages. Little and colleagues (1996) injected animals from three age groups—juvenile animals (PD20), adolescent animals (PD30), and adult animals (PD60)—with three different alcohol doses, and found the following:
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Affects of Teenage Drinking Essay - 2451 Words
On any given weekend evening, one in 10 drivers on America's roads has been drinking and according to the latest statistics, in a family of five the prospect of you or someone in your family being involved in an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident in their lifetime, is an astounding 200 percent....
Essay on effects of teenage drinking - Goffinet
Pyapali, G.K.; Turner, D.A.; Wilson, W.A.; and Swartzwelder, H.S. Age and dose-dependent effects of ethanol on the induction of hippocampal long-term potentiation. Alcohol 19:107–111, 1999.
Essay on effects of teenage drinking
Slawecki, C.J.; Betancourt, M.; Cole, M.; and Ehlers, C.L. Periadolescent alcohol exposure has lasting effects on adult neurophysiological function in rats. Developmental Brain Research 128:63–72, 2001.
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Markwiese, B.J.; Acheson, S.K.; Levin, E.D.; et al. Differential effects of ethanol on memory in adolescent and adult rats. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 22:416–421, 1998.
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Little, P.J.; Kuhn, C.M.; Wilson, W.A.; and Swartzwelder, H.S. Differential effects of ethanol in adolescent and adult rats. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 20:1346–1351, 1996.
Teenage drinking essay | Sheridan County Chamber of …
Acheson, S.; Stein, R.; and Swartzwelder, H.S. Impairment of semantic and figural memory by acute alcohol: Age-dependent effects. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 22:1437–1442, 1998.
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