Aug

17

Alcoholism Cause & Effect

By Topher

While there are many factors that drive one to become an alcoholic, they all converge at the brain’s reward system. With out proper care to stop alcoholism, one can greatly destroy their body. See what internal mechanisms make drinking enjoyable and the dangers of drinking for the human body.


Causes and Effects of Alcoholism

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Alcoholism Cause and Effect

Cause

While there are many factors that drive someone to become an alcoholic, they all converge at the brain’s reward system.

1. The main chemical involved in this system is the neurotransmitter Dopamine.

2. Dopamine is released when the driver has a positive experience. Through various processes, alcohol increases the effects of dopamine in the brain, and happy feelings are chemically amplified. The dopamine has the greatest effect on the Mesolimbic system.

A. The wave of dopamine begins in the Ventral Tegmental Area.

B. Next, the dopamine signals enter the Nucleus Accumbens where rewarding feelings are generated.

C. Once a rewarding feeling is generated the Amygdala is signaled to analyze the emotion.

D. Finally, after these steps are repeated many times, the Hippocampus stores a long term link between alcohol and happiness.

3. A neurological link between happiness and alcohol, combines with other gradual chemical changes in the brain, produce symptoms of addiction.

Effects

Nervous and Neurological

  • Prospective memory is impaired
  • Sleep cycle is disrupted
  • Brain shrinks in physical size
  • Brain lesions are common and more wide spread

Cardiovascular

  • Heart failure
  • Anemia
  • Cardiomyopathy

Liver

  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis

Gastrointestinal

  • Stomach inflammation
  • Persistent heartburn
  • Poor nutrient absorption
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach bleeding

Sexual Dysfunction

  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Impaired orgasm
  • Nerve damage

Provided by Total DUI.