Recent findings out of University of Illinois at Chicago are reporting the results of adolescent drinking upon brain development and the lasting effects that persist into adulthood. Using an animal model with rats, researchers were able to investigate the long-term results of intermittent alcohol use during adolescence, which proved to alter activity of genes that help normal brain maturation.

“Rats exposed to alcohol during adolescence exhibited changes in behavior that lasted into adulthood, long after exposure to alcohol ended. They showed increased anxiety-like behaviors and drank more alcohol in adulthood…The diminished expression of the gene persisted in adulthood, even if alcohol exposure was stopped weeks before. The researchers observed diminished nerve connectivity in the amygdalae of these affected adult rats.”

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