Alcohol and the Developing Brain

Jaime “Jim” L. Diaz-Granados Baylor University

Diaz-Granados_Jaime-100x120Children who take their first drink before age 15 are much more likely to struggle with alcohol abuse later in life. Jim Diaz-Granados studies this phenomenon, showing in animal models that early alcohol exposure influences brain development and subsequent addiction susceptibility. His research has revealed that, through the development of tolerance and a reduction in alcohol’s aversive effects, early use may predispose abuse through brain plasticity, particularly when coupled with anxiety or a stressful environment.