From Cradle to Grave, Alcohol Is Bad for the Brain
There is "compelling" evidence of the harmful effects of alcohol on the brain. The greatest risk occurs during three periods of life that are marked by dynamic brain changes, say researchers from Australia and the United Kingdom. The three periods are
Gestation (conception to birth), which is characterized by extensive production, migration, and differentiation of neurons, as well as substantial apoptosis;
Later adolescence (age 15 to 19 years), a period marked by synaptic pruning and increased axonal myelination; and Older adulthood (age 65 and beyond), a period associated with brain atrophy. Changes accelerate after age 65, largely driven by decreases in neuron size and reductions in the number of dendritic spines and synapses.
@panama A life course perspective on brain health supports the formulation of policy and public health interventions to reduce alcohol use and misuse at all ages