It seems obvious that alcohol has an effect on the brain, given how often a night drinking is followed by a morning of questioning bizarre decisions and inexplicable Amazon purchases. Interestingly, a recent study showed that male and female brains react differently to long-term drinking.
A Finnish research group measured electrical activity in the brain in response to stimuli. Using young men and young women who were classed as either heavy drinkers or low/non-drinkers, the data consistently showed that heavy drinkers had a greater response to the electrical pulse, indicating a change in brain functioning.
They also exposed a new puzzle, because the male heavy drinkers showed more altered electrical and chemical functioning in the brain than the female heavy drinkers. This surprised the researchers, and indicates that men are possibly at higher risk of harm from drinking on a biological level.
The subjects were not alcoholics by standard definition, which the study authors said ought to raise questions about whether young people’s ability to drink should be further regulated. Treatment for alcoholism also might need to account for these male/female differences in the brain.
It should be noted that the study involved a rather small sample size, and there could be confounding pre-existing factors affecting the subjects’ neurobiological profiles. In any case, it’s an area that seems ripe for further research!
Neuro-what now? Yeah, we’re not quite scientists either. And getting a liquor license in Texas is whole lot less science, and a whole lot more art! Fortunately, it’s a field where we really are experts – give our licensing consultants a call, and we’ll show you what we know!