Binge Drinking More Damaging for Teen Girls Than Boys, Study Says
BBC News reports the brains of teen girls are especially prone to damage from alcohol, as their brains develop at an earlier age than guys, according to a study published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
In the study of teens ages 16 to 19 at American universities, researchers used MRI scans and found female binge drinkers -- those who drink more than four beers or glasses of wine in one sitting -- had less brain activation in a number of brain areas including memory and spatial awareness than female teens who didn't drink.
This could lead to issues when it comes to driving, playing sports, using maps or remembering how to get places, the BBC reports.
Teen guys who binge drank, however, didn't have the same issues, according to the study.
"Male binge drinkers showed some, but less, abnormality as compared to male non-drinkers," Susan Tapert, professor of psychiatry at the University of California and lead study author, tells the BBC. "This suggests that female teens may be particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of heavy alcohol use."
Stanford University professor Edith Sullivan tells the network female brains develop one to two years earlier than male brains.
"Hormonal levels and alcohol-induced fluctuations in hormones could also account for the gender differences," she tells BBC News. "Finally, the same amount of alcohol could more negatively affect females since females tend to have slower rates of metabolism, higher body fat ratios and lower body weight."
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