Alcohol's Effects on the Brain

SHOEMAKER, William -- Interviews
ALCOHOL -- Physiological effect
BRAIN
DRINKING of alcoholic beverages
TOMOGRAPHY
TOMOGRAPHY, Emission

Abstract:The article presents an interview with physician William Shoemaker on the effect of alcohol on the brain. He said that the addiction to alcohol is both physical and mental. There are physical symptoms when people who chronically consume alcohol withdraw from it, and there is also a psychological dependence on alcohol. Shoemaker explained that when someone has been an alcoholic for a long time, many of the cells in the brain die, as a result, their brain is going to be different. If one looked at the constituents of the brain, he would see that certain cell populations have dropped out in the alcoholics. And if one does a computed tomography or positron emission tomography scan on these people, the total volume of brain is smaller. With chronic alcohol use, the cells in the brain and other tissue now find themselves maintained in a fluid that contains alcohol and they adapt to it.

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