Teenage drinking and the onset of alcohol dependence. Binge drinking teenagers damaging brain development - Telegraph

The team, led by Prof Subhash Pandey, director of neuroscience alcoholism research at UIC’,s Chicago College of Medicine, believe they have found the mechanism by which binge drinking affects people in later life. Teenage alcoholism.

“,This may be the mechanism through which adolescent binge-drinking increases the risk for psychiatric disorders, including alcoholism, in adulthood,”, said Prof Pandey

But they also found that the effects could also potentially be treatable. When some of the rats were given a cancer drug, the DNA was observed to be less tightly coiled.

“,We aren’,t sure if the drug needs to be given long term during adulthood in order to completely reverse the harmful effects of adolescent alcohol exposure,”, Prof Pandey added.

To simulate conditions like those of heavy drinking sessions in teenagers researchers took a group of four-week-old rats and gave them alcohol for two days, followed by two days off, repeating the pattern for almost a fortnight.

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“,Our study provides a mechanism for how binge-drinking during adolescence may lead to lasting [epigenetic] changes …, that result in increased anxiety and alcoholism in adults,”, said Prof Pandey.

“,Intermittent alcohol exposure degrades the ability of the brain to form the connections it needs to during adolescence.

“,The brain doesn’,t develop as it should, and there are lasting behavioural changes associated with this.”,

Research published by the World Health Organisation last year ranked the UK among the worst countries in the world for binge drinking.

Teenage alcoholism abuse

It found that 28 per cent of Britons were classed as having had episode of heavy drinking in the previous month –, almost twice as much as the global average –, putting the UK 13th highest for heavy drinking out of 196 countries –, worse than Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus and Hungary.

Binge drinking –, measured as the number of people who had a heavy drinking session in the week before the ONS General household Survey –, fell by almost 17 per cent across the wider population between 2005 and 2013, but almost twice as fast among young people.

Strikingly, the number of under-25s who do not drink alcohol at all has leapt by 40 per cent in just eight years.

More than a quarter of young people abstain altogether. A third of people living in London –, the youngest region of the UK in demographic terms –, are now teetotal.

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