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How Alcohol Damage Your Brain


How Alcohol Damage Your Brain

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How Alcohol affect yiur brain
How Alcohol affect yiur brain

I once had the remarkable, however unfortunate, opportunity of watching the identical occurrence in the brain structure of a guy who, in a fit of alcoholic rage, beheaded himself beneath the wheel of a railway carriage, and whose brain was instantly evolved from the skull by the collision.

Within three minutes of death, the complete brain appeared in front of me. It exuded the most distinct odor of spirit, and its membranes and minute structures were extremely vascular.

It appeared to have been recently injected with vermilion. When the cerebrum’s white matter, studded with crimson spots, was incised, its natural whiteness could not be distinguished; and the pia-mater, or internal vascular membrane enveloping the brain, resembled a delicate web of coagulated red blood, so tense were its fine veins engorged.

I should mention that this ailment affected both the larger and smaller brains, the cerebrum and cerebellum, but not the medulla or the first segment of the spinal cord.

Spinal cord and nerves

Alcohol’s impact continues beyond the initial stage, influencing spinal cord function. In good health, we are accustomed to doing mechanical tasks that progress sequentially even when we are thinking or conversing about other topics.

Thus, a skilled worker will continue his mechanical work perfectly while his mind is preoccupied with another subject; and thus, we all perform various acts in a purely automatic manner, without involving the higher centers, unless something unusual occurs to necessitate their assistance, in which case we think before we act. When exposed to alcohol, the spinal centres become impacted, and these pure automatic acts cease to function properly.

To ensure that the hand can reach any object or that the foot is properly planted, the higher intellectual centre must be activated. Following this, there is a lack of muscle coordination. Certain muscles lose neural control, and the nerve stimulus is weakened to some extent. The muscles of the lower lip normally fail first in the human subject, followed by the muscles of the lower limbs, and it is worth noting that the extensor muscles give way before the flexors.

By this point, the muscles are also losing power; they respond more slowly than usual to the neurological input; they, too, are feeling the depressing effects of the paralyzing drug; their structure is temporarily disrupted, and their contractile capacity is decreased.

This change of the animal’s functioning under alcohol represents the second degree of its activity. In young patients, vomiting and fainting are common, followed by progressive recovery from the poison’s effects.

Effect on brain centers

The alcoholic spirit is carried to a greater extent; the cerebral or brain centers become influenced; their power is lessened, and the controlling influences of will and judgment are lost.

As these centers become unbalanced and chaotic, the intellectual aspect of man’s nature gives way to the emotional, passionate, or organic part. The reason is now off duty, or is playing with duty, and all of his animal impulses and feelings are exposed.

The coward appears more craven, the braggart more proud, the cruel more ruthless, the untruthful more false, and the carnal more degraded. “In vino veritas” depicts the genuine condition with physiological accuracy. Reason, emotions, and instincts are all in a carnival-like condition of feebleness and chaos.

Finally, the superior brain centres are dominated by the alcohol’s action; the senses are muddled, the voluntary muscular prostration is perfected, sensation is gone, and the body lies a simple log, dead by all except one-fourth, on which its life depends.

The heart continues to serve its purpose, and while it just lives, it provides breathing power. As a result, circulation and respiration in the otherwise inert bulk preserve the mass within the bare domain of life until the poison is eliminated and the neurological centres reactivate.

It is fortunate for the inebriate that, in most cases, the brain fails before the heart, leaving him with neither the power nor the sense to continue his destructive process until his circulation dies. As a result, he lives to die another day.