Excessive Drinking Harms Function of Serotonin in the Brain

A recent Swedish study shows that serotonin, a vital brain neurotransmitter, has a role in developing and curing depression and chronic anxiety. While the neurotransmitter is empowered to regulate impulses and human abilities to sleep or to stay awake, it has been found that excessive drinking harms the function of serotonin in the brain in a short amount of time.

A recent online news post states that experts analyzed the brain functions of over 40 people, one-third of them being women, and found that women are apt to suffer a 50 percent drop in the number of serotonin functions after only four years of heavy drinking. Kristina Berglund, the lead author of the study, says the research findings show that the damage is especially rapid for women.

Berglund explained that they were not surprised to find the impaired serotonin function in the excessive drinkers’ brains, but they were surprised by how much more in danger women were than men in regard to brain functioning. Berglund emphasized the danger of how the functioning of the brain was impaired and was especially concerned with the rapid nature of the damage.

Another report conducted by the Health Research Board exposed an increase of over 40 percent in the number of cases for treatment of alcohol abuse in the past six years. The report further noted alcohol as the root of problems for treatment of drug cases, with over 42,000 cases in the five years between 2005 and 2010.

The authors are concerned about how quickly the female brain can incur damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption.