Alcohol Consumption Actually Depresses the Central Nervous Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1140 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs

Alcohol consumption actually depresses the central nervous system, and although it is not a stimulant, individuals who drink alcohol appear stimulated, as speech become free and animated and social inhibitions become lax (Dunlap). However, the occurrence of these effects are due to the fact that alcohol affects the parts of the brain that control judgment, thus the "stimulation" that occurs with alcohol consumption is basically due to a depression of self-control (Dunlap). Depending on what type of alcohol, how much and how quickly an individual consumes the drink, alcohol slows down brain activity, resulting in slurred speech, slowed reaction time, impaired vision and hearing, impaired thinking and memory, and muscle weakness (Dunlap).

Although alcohol is classified as a food, it is not digested but rather enters directly into the blood stream. Because alcohol dilutes itself in the water volume of the body, vital organs, such as the brain, that contain large amounts of water and need a substantial blood supply, are left especially vulnerable (Dunlap). Within minutes of entering the bloodstream, literally every organ and tissue system, including the brain, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas and kidneys, are infiltrated by alcohol (Dunlap).

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There are numerous processes of body chemistry and metabolism that are associated with the liver's functions. For example, the liver produces bile which aides in the digestion of fatty foods, and stores and releases sugar. It also manufactures heparin, an anticoagulant, and produces antibodies that deter diseases (Dunlap). The liver is also responsible for ridding the body of poisons, including alcohol, and although it is very effective in cleansing the body of alcohol in small amounts, when the alcohol content is high, imbalances occur that can lead to hypoglycemia, hyperuricemia, fatty liver, and hyperlipermia (Dunlap). Hypoglycemia causes low blood sugar, hyperuricemia leads to arthritis and gout, a fatty liver can cause hepatitis and cirrhosis, and hyperlipermia leads to the build-up of fats in the bloodstream which can ultimately lead to certain heart conditions (Dunlap).

Term Paper on Alcohol Consumption Actually Depresses the Central Nervous Assignment

The central nervous system consists of the spinal cord, including the nerves within, and the brain. As Dr. Michaele Dunlap explains, sensory impulses are sent to the central nervous system and motor impulses pass from it, yet when alcohol reacts on the central nervous system, intoxication occurs, which affects emotional and sensory function, judgment, memory, learning ability, and dulls smell and taste sensors (Dunlap). Moreover, as the blood alcohol level rises, the ability to withstand pain increases. Because alcohol affects different parts of the brain at different rates, an individual may experience alternate periods of restlessness and stupor (Dunlap). Long-term effects include tolerance, dependency and irreversible damage to the central nervous system (Dunlap). The most affected organ is the brain, which is subject to alcohol injuries such as memory loss, confusion, and augmentation (hyper-alertness), all of which can result in rapid mood swings, and emotional and behavioral instability (Dunlap).

Alcohol causes red blood cells to clump together resulting in oxygen starvation to tissues and cell death in the brain, which leads to red eyes, capillaries breaks, and/or red, blotchy skin. When blood vessels break n the stomach and esophagus, hemorrhaging, and even death can occur (Dunlap). Alcohol can also lead to anemia, sedation of the bone marrow, and impairs the body's ability to ward off infections (Dunlap). Because alcohol reduces the blood flow, weakness and deterioration of the muscles may result, including heart conditions such as cardiomyopathy and arrhythmia. Moreover, this muscle weakness is also… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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