Judge Dale Wells Rules Alcohol is not a Drug in contrast to the National Institue on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Judge Dale Wells, in a custody  trial in the infamous Department 2J, ruled that Alcohol is not a drug. The National Instiute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has a substantially different perspectivie citing the following:

 Alcohol’s Effects on Brain Structure and Function

“Results of autopsy studies show that patients with a history of chronic alcohol consumption have smaller, lighter, more shrunken brains than nonalcoholic adults of the same age and gender (1). This finding has been repeatedly confirmed in living alcoholics using structural imaging techniques, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Structural imaging reveals a consistent  association between heavy drinking and physical brain damage, even in the absence of medical conditions previously considered to be clinical indicators of severe alcoholism (e.g., chronic liver disease or alcohol-induced dementia).

Imaging reveals shrinkage to be more extensive in the folded outer layer (i.e., cortex) of the frontal lobe (2), which is believed to be the seat of higher intellectual functions.  In men, vulnerability to frontal lobe shrinkage increases with age (2-4).     Current studies will determine if the same effect occurs in women. Repeated     imaging of a group of alcoholics who continued drinking over a 5-year period     showed progressive brain shrinkage that significantly exceeded normal age-related shrinkage (5). The rate of frontal cortex shrinkage in this study correlated     approximately with the amount of alcohol consumed (5).

Shrinkage also occurs in deeper brain regions, including brain structures associated with memory (6-8), as well as in the cerebellum, which helps regulate coordination and  balance (9). Limited research suggests that women may be more susceptible  than men to alcohol-related brain shrinkage (10,11).

The detection of structural  brain damage is complemented by results of functional imaging techniques,   such as positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed     tomography (SPECT). By measuring local changes in blood flow and energy metabolism,     PET and SPECT can help identify brain regions involved in specific sensory, motor, or cognitive functions. Such studies consistently reveal decreased  blood flow and metabolic rates in certain brain regions of heavy drinkers  compared with those of nonalcoholics (12,13), even in the absence of measurable  shrinkage (14). Structural and functional defects revealed by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and PET may reflect a decrease in the number (15) or size  (16,17) of neurons or a reduction in the density of communication sites between  adjacent neurons (16,17).

A recent 2012 brain imaging study, from the University of California, specified that Alcohol is just as addictive as any other drug, and traced the pathway of alcohol addiction and release of endorphins to certain structural areas in the brain.


7 comments on “Judge Dale Wells Rules Alcohol is not a Drug in contrast to the National Institue on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

  1. Pingback: Judge Dale Wells and Guns, Riverside Superior Court | News and Views Riverside Superior Court and National Family Law Abuse

  2. Pingback: Riverside Superior Court places children with substance abusers | News and Views Riverside Superior Court and National Family Law Abuse

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