Alcohol Brain: Thinking Clearly about Nothing

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GABA and alcohol are best friends as soon as they meet. Alcohol is the most used and abused drug on the planet. People are attracted to alcohol because of how quickly it changes how you feel. It changes your actions, perception, and thoughts.

As alcohol enters your body and finds its way to your brain, it starts to interact with your brain cells or neurons.

There are two types of neurotransmitters: excitatory neurons use glutamate well inhibitory neurons use GABA to communicate—the yin and yang if you will.

These two types of neurotransmitters play essential roles, such as glutamate inhibits excitation, GABA produces inhibition which helps to organize and differentiate the results in your brain. These signals, when processed together, create actions and thoughts.

Alcohol affects these two signals by suppressing glutamate transmission and enhancing GABA transmission.

So, you get less excitation and more inhibition. And because glutamate becomes less effective, transmission rates slow down, and only the most significant signals can make their way through.

This means you feel less, perceive less, notice less, and remember less.

In conjunction, the increased GABA hushes the excessive background noise of activity, fine-tuning and clarifying your thoughts but to an obsessive degree.

This is why they call alcohol a depressant, but inhibition of your neurons is different than social inhibition.

Instead, it simply cleans up and removes extraneous activity by removing less significant excitation.

The excessive excitatory action would resemble an epileptic seizure without standard GABA transmission.

There would be no clarity of thought.

When a person is drunk, your GABA channels are wide open. Combined with a lack of glutamate, you begin to think very little but with great clarity.

It is what causes the momentous attitude of a drunk repeating the same idea or proclamation repeatedly.

Alcohol is a dangerous drug involved in 50% of murder cases.

Thinking clearly about almost nothing!

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Dean Mathers

Editor-in-chief

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