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Dec 21, 2016 10:26 AM EST

How Excessive Holiday Drinking Can Cause Damage to your Brain

Holiday drinking parties
Here's how excessive holiday drinking damages your brain.
(Photo : Credit: Matt Cardy / Stringer)

Holidays are the most awaited time of the year to most people. There are a lot of parties here and there, gatherings, occasions and reunions. With all these events, it's hard to say that alcohol can't be present because it seems to always be part of the spirit of celebration.

When you start drinking a glass of wine, you could probably drink a few more and you won't realize how much you've had. The next thing you feel in the morning are headache and dizziness. These events only illustrate how quickly alcohol affects your brain and this is something that many people do not actually realize. Alcohol can cause long term consequences for the brain and result in a wide range of problems. In fact, excessive drinking is known to be one of the major causes of death among adults in the United States.

Alcohol slows down the pace of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurostransmitters are the chemicals that carry messages between neurons. These are very powerful because they have the ability to intensify or reduce your body's responses, feelings and even your mood. What your brain does is to balance how neurotransmitters work so as to make sure your body operates properly.

When you engage in heavy alcohol consumption, it can affect the delicate balance of neurotransmitters because it slows down the relay of information which explains why you feel drowsy. This is also the reason behind your mood and behavioral changes when you are drunk, as well as feelings of depression, agitation, memory loss and seizures.

Long term heavy drinking can also reduce the size of your brain cells, your brain mass shrinks and the inner cavity grows bigger. These structural changes affect several abilities such as motor coordination, mood, sleep and various cognitive function including learning and memory.

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