It is evident that use of alcohol earlier in life results in long-lasting consequences on the brain as well as increasing the changes of psychological issues in the maturity. The researchers from the University of Illinois situated in Chicago found out recently that binge drinking amongst the youth, despite not being continued afterward, raises the chances of anxiety-related issues in the life later, all thanks to the irregular epigenetic brainwashing. The findings were published in the Biological Psychiatry journal.
According to the professor of psychiatry at the UIC Medicine College, the leading author of this study as well as the director of Alcohol research center in the UIC, Mr. Subhash Pandey said: “Binge drinking early in life modifies the brain and changes connectivity in the brain, especially in the amygdala, which is involved in emotional regulation and anxiety, in ways we don’t totally understand yet,”
Mr. Pandey further said: “But what we do know is that epigenetic changes are lasting, and increase susceptibility to psychological issues later in life, even if drinking that took place early in life is stopped.”
Mr. Pandey added: “We believe that the decrease in Arc levels is caused by epigenetic changes that alter the expression of Arc, and an enhancer RNA, which modifies the expression of Arc. These changes are caused by adolescent alcohol exposure,
Exposure to alcohol causes epigenetic reprogramming to occur, leading to molecular changes in the amygdala, which are long-lasting, even in the absence of more alcohol,
If the amygdala has deficits in its wiring or connectivity, and these modifications are long-lasting, the individual is at risk for psychological issues based on difficulties in regulating emotions, such as anxiety or depression and the development of alcohol use disorder later in life.”