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Reversing the effects of alcohol abuse on the brain.

Old 11-18-2009, 12:38 PM
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Drk
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Reversing the effects of alcohol abuse on the brain.

Anyone looked into this? Does abstinence cause the body to repair damage done to the brain?
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:13 PM
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Yes. Good nutrition, exercise and a quality program (cbt,aa, etc.) will yeild quality results for the entire mind body unit. Search around here, stickies "what to expect", google yeilds alot of great specifics. Replace those alch carbs w quality food, avoid excess sugar, caffeine and nicotine. Replace those booz thoughts with constructive thoughts. You're about to give your MO a make over for the better!
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:24 PM
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Some damage can not be undone...
And not only the damage to the brain..
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:55 PM
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Both alcohol abuse and the nutrition deficiencies that come along with it damage the brain. Usually in the areas that control learning and memory. Most damage caused by malnutrition and alcohol abuse is reversible if caught early enough.. some is not. Total long term abstinence and improved nutrition are key to any recovery that is possible.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:01 PM
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It's best to ask your Dr, Drk - it depends on many factors: your health, the characteristics and length of your drinking career etc...

Generally speaking, the sooner you stop drinking and embrace recovery, the better

D
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:13 PM
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effects on brain from nida website:
Alcohol consumption can damage the brain and most body organs. Areas of the brain that are especially vulnerable to alcohol-related damage are the cerebral cortex (largely responsible for our higher brain functions, including problemsolving and decisionmaking), the hippocampus (important for memory and learning), and the cerebellum (important for movement coordination).
in answer to your question: YES, abstinence reverses this damage

I know this both from reading the science and from personal experience; certain things cannot be reversed but those are more rare, and a lot of things take a lot of time to repair

Check out the NIDA website:

Addiction: "Drugs, Brains, and Behavior - The Science of Addiction"

publication from NIAAA:

ALCOHOL'S DAMAGING EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:12 AM
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It appears the most significant improvement occurs following general "relaxation" of the upregulation NMDA/glutamate system and the recovery of the downregulation of the GABA system. For me, I avoid additional sources of glutamate and calcium during the recovery process for this reason. I believe I have read that this system takes anywhere from 3-6 months to normalize.

In addition, the 'blunting' of the HPA axis plays a central role in hormonal disarray caused by alcoholism. Research suggests the hypothalamus takes a minimum of two months to "awake."

Lastly, the dopamine reward pathway needs to recondition itself. This means dopamine receptors need to end the down-regulation caused by alcohol use/withdrawal. A relative dopamine deficiency occurs as the alcohol is no longer available to provide the burst of dopamine we all new and loved. This takes awhile to recover according to all of the information I have reviewed (potentially up to 2 years).

New neural connections need to form. Thinking pattern changes and working the 12 steps assist with this process.

The biochemical process of this disease is something in which I like to focus. If anyone wants to discuss it in further detail, shoot me a message.
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