The three periods in life when alcohol is most dangerous for the brain
Researchers have identified the three periods in life when alcohol is most dangerous to health. In addition to babies and teens, people over 65 are the most exposed to the harmful effects of alcohol.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, aims to educate as many people as possible about the stages of life in which it is necessary to be more attentive to alcohol consumption. The effects of alcohol on the brain are most severe in infants and children, adolescents and those over 65, according to research from Kings College London and the University of New Wales.
These periods of life are related to "dynamic changes in the brain" and therefore the brain is particularly sensitive to the harmful effects of alcohol. Alcohol use disorders are one of the most important risk factors for dementia, and mainly in older people.
10% of pregnant women drink alcohol
"For the elderly, we now know that even a low intake can be associated with brain damage," said Tony Rao, who is leading the study. Alcohol consumption can be associated with a slight but significant loss of brain volume. This reduction can cause a change in personality and difficulties in everyday life.
Babies are at risk even before they are born because the gestation period in utero is a critical period for development. Globally, about 10% of pregnant women drink alcohol.
It can also cause reduced brain volume in children and memory or thinking problems, even if consumption is moderate. In addition, adolescents who drink too fast at night are also affected by these risks, although their consumption is more occasional.