Brain Scans May Spot Teens at Risk for Problem Drinking, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Study
8/9/2012 7:57:41 AM
Heavy drinking is known to affect teenagers' developing brains, but certain patterns of brain activity may also help predict which kids are at risk of becoming problem drinkers, according to a study in the September issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Using special MRI scans, researchers looked at 40 12- to 16-year-olds who had not started drinking yet, then followed them for about 3 years and scanned them again. Half of the teens started to drink alcohol fairly heavily during this interval. The investigators found that kids who had initially showed less activation in certain brain areas were at greater risk for becoming heavy drinkers in the next three years.