The human brain is a delicate organ. Any head trauma potentially causes life-altering effects. This is especially true when the victim is a child or teenager, because our brains are still developing at that age.
Thus, anything that increases teens’ vulnerability to brain injury is something to be concerned about. That list includes binge drinking, according to a new scientific study.
The authors of the study defined binge drinking as consuming enough alcohol to raise your blood-alcohol concentration to 0.08 grams per deciliter. This is usually the equivalent of four to five drinks in about two hours.
Researchers simulated these conditions in adult lab rats. They found that as the rats’ brains continued to develop, their hippocampuses were adversely affected. The hippocampus is largely responsible for learning and memory. The affected rats demonstrated problems with memory, attention, judgment and ability to learn new skills.
The study says that this means that brains of human teenagers and young adults are highly sensitive to this rush of alcohol. Not only could it hamper brain development, it could put them at extra risk of serious injury from a blow to the head, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Day-to-day decisions we make can affect our health, but may not prepare us for a brain injury. A car can come out of nowhere and crash into us as we drive through an intersection, or fail to brake in time when we are crossing the street. These types of accidents could be caused by a negligent driver, who is the person who should be financially responsible.