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how does alcohol affect the cerebellum
The cerebellum is an area sensitive to alcohol and may result in permanent damage after chronic consumption of large amounts of alcohol. In the brain, alcohol affects neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that either increase or decrease brain activity through electrical impulses. These are some of the effects that may be evaluated when an individual is asked to walk a straight line, to balance on one foot, etc. How Does Alcohol Affect the Brain: Alcohol & Neurotransmitters Some of this impact stems directly from alcohol’s poisonous effects on the brain. Although the cerebellum becomes vulnerable during the third trimester of human development, the developing fetus is vulnerable beginning in the seventh week after fertilization . Alcohol abuse can have many direct and indirect effects on the brain and nervous system. As alcohol affects the cerebellum, muscle movements become uncoordinated. While the cerebral cortex initiates muscle movements, the cerebellum creates nerve impulses that control an individual’s balance and a number of other fine movements. Effects of Alcohol on the Cerebellum Another part of the brain that is affected by alcohol consumption is the cerebellum, which coordinates muscle movement. Amygdala Within the temporal lobe, the amygdala has connections to the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus and the thalamus and mediates emotions (love, fear, rage, anxiety) and helps identify danger. Ethanol-induced damage to the cerebellum can have permanent and lasting effects on a variety of motor control and learning processes. So, as alcohol affects the cerebellum, a person may lose their balance frequently. What does alcohol do to the brain that causes this loss of motor control? The cerebellum coordinates movement, thus, when depressed by alcohol the effect is impaired coordination, slowed reflexes and impaired balance. The cerebellum is vulnerable to poisons, including alcohol and certain prescription medications. The cerebellum is the part of the hindbrain, which controls vital bodily functions such as respiration and heart rate. These poisons damage nerve cells in the cerebellum, leading to … Alcohol abuse leads to atrophy within the white matter of the cerebellum. Examples of neurologic disease caused by alcohol, along with their symptoms, include: In addition to coordinating voluntary muscle movements, the cerebellum also coordinates the fine muscle movements involved in maintaining your balance.
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