New research suggests that heavy alcohol consumption is more likely to affect the health of young men than young women
According to scientists, brain functions of men and women are affected differently by long-term alcohol addiction, as men may be more at risk than women.
In a new research of Finnish doctors, the responses of the brain of alcohol consumers were greater in the cortex of heavy drinkers, as well as higher in the brain of males than the ones of females. The researchers measured the magnetic pulses by using the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and the EEG (electroencephalogram).
“We found more changes in brain electrical activity in male subjects, than in females, which was a surprise, as we expected it would be the other way around. This means that male brain electrical functioning is changed more than female brains by long-term alcohol use. Generally, our work showed that alcohol causes more pronounced changes in both electrical and chemical neurotransmission in men than women. It has been suggested that women and men may respond differently to alcohol. Our work offers a possible mechanism to these differences,” Dr. Outi Kaarre, from the University of Eastern Finland, explained.
As long term alcohol use can significantly affect the overall health of young people, gender differences can also play an important role when approaching a specific pharmacological treatment against alcoholism, especially since women in Europe have started to catch up with men when it comes to alcohol consumption and the disorder’s incidence is currently on the rise.
The findings of the study were discussed during the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies Congress in Paris.