Effect of Drug Abuse on Nervous System

Effect of Drug Abuse on Nervous System

  • Submitted By: aieclipse228
  • Date Submitted: 06/20/2010 7:34 AM
  • Category: Science
  • Words: 1247
  • Page: 5
  • Views: 909

- A central nervous system depressant
- Chronic drinking can lead to dependence and addiction to alcohol and to additional neurological problems

Effect of alcohol on the nervous system:
• Increased turnover of norepinephrine and dopamine
• Decreased transmission in acetylcholine systems
• Increased transmission in GABA systems
• Increased production of beta-endorphin in the hypothalamus

In low doses:
• A relaxing effect
• Reduces tension
• Lowers inhibitions
• Impairs concentration
• Slows reflexes
• Impairs reaction time
• Reduces coordination

In medium doses:
• Slur speech
• Cause drowsiness
• Alter emotions

In high doses:
• Vomiting
• Breathing difficulties
• Unconsciousness
• Coma

Typical symptoms of withholding someone who is addicted to alcohol:
• Shaking (tremors)
• Sleep problems
• Nausea
• Hallucinations
• Seizures

Chronic alcohol use can:
• Damage the frontal lobes of the brain
• Cause an overall reduction in brain size and increase in the size of the ventricles
• Lead to alcoholism (addiction to alcohol)
• Cause a vitamin deficiency:
o Digestion system of alcoholics is unable to absorb vitamin B-1 (thiamine), a syndrome known as "Wernicke's Encephalopathy" may develop. This syndrome is characterized by impaired memory, confusion and lack of coordination.
o Further deficiencies of thiamine can lead to "Korsakoff's Syndrome." This disorder is characterized by amnesia, apathy and disorientation.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS):
- Fetal exposure to alcohol can impair the development of the corpus callosum (the main connection between the right and left hemispheres of the brain), reduce the size of the basal ganglia and damage the cerebellum and cerebral cortex.
- Compared to normal babies, babies born with FAS:
• Smaller heads and brains
• Some degree of mental...

Similar Essays