A National Directory of Drug Treatment Centers and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Therapists and Specialists. A free, simple directory providing assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, dependency and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.
Call 800-580-9104 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Boozing Blunts Ability to Read Faces

Heavy drinking can affect the ability to recognize other people’s facial emotions, a new study has found.

Researchers used functional MRI to monitor brain activity in 15 abstinent long-term alcoholics while they looked at images of faces with positive or negative emotional expressions. The brain scans revealed decreased activation in the amygdala and hippocampus, regions of the brain used for processing facial emotions.

The inability to judge emotional expressions “can result in miscommunication during emotionally charged situations and lead to unnecessary conflicts and difficulties in interpersonal relationships. The resulting negative repercussions can, in turn, contribute to increased drinking,” study author Ksenija Marinkovic, an assistant professor in residence in the radiology department at the University of California, San Diego, said in a news release from Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, which is publishing the findings online and in its November print issue.

The study also found that the brains of the alcoholics recruited the prefrontal cortex while processing facial emotions, perhaps compensating for the reduced activation of the amygdala and hippocampus.

Previous studies found that reduced amygdala activity occurs in psychopaths and in people with a family history of alcoholism.

“Amygdala hypoactivity may underlie emotional dysfunction in chronic alcoholics … and be part of a wide array of behavioral problems, including disinhibition and disregard for social norms,” Marinkovic said.

“Viewed in their totality, these results show that not all facial expressions are necessarily perceived the same by everyone, and that alcoholics may be at a special disadvantage in detecting emotion-filled facial expression, which we all naturally use to convey information, such as warnings, love, anger and defense, among others, and assume that the intended message is accurately perceived,” Edith V. Sullivan, professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, said in a news release.

“Whether the differences between controls and alcoholics in brain activation existed before the onset of alcoholism, or are the result of neural circuitry changes or differences in blood perfusion caused by chronic alcohol consumption, intoxication or withdrawal, remain as questions to be answered,” Sullivan said.

source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

More Treatment & Detox Articles

Alcohol detox

Alcohol detox implies the removal of alcohol from the body of an alcoholic. The alcohol detox programs are known to be very effective when people sincerely want to get rid of the drinking habit. While discussing about alcohol detox, it is important to know the connection between alcohol withdrawal and alcohol detox. Withdrawal is result….

Continue reading

WOMEN ARE AT HIGH RISK FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Educate a woman in your life by sharing some of these statistics and have a conversation about alcohol. Alcohol is associated more closely with crimes of sexual violence than any other drug; it is implicated in as many as 73% of all rapes and 70% of all incidents of domestic violence. It is linked to….

Continue reading

Choosing Between Arizona Treatment Centers for a Loved One

Helping a loved one find needed drug treatment can make a life-changing difference in the life of your loved one. Compared to other states, Arizona carried a higher than average rate for drug-related fatalities in 2008, according to the Arizona Drug Control Update. Arizona also ranks highest in the number of people who reported using….

Continue reading

Signs Your Loved One May Need Alcohol Addiction Treatment

get help for drinking addiction

Alcohol is the most abused drug in the world, and is the third leading cause of death in America. Alcohol addiction is a disease that plagues millions of Americans, but it is curable through alcohol addiction treatment and through the right therapeutic techniques. Signs your Loved one is Addicted to Alcohol There are different types….

Continue reading

Red Watch Band friends don’t let friends get too drunk

When Suzanne Fields’ son died of an alcohol overdose last year, a few days after completing his first year of college, she decided she wanted to keep other students from suffering the same fate. “I thought at the time my son died that his death was preventable, that I wanted to do something to prevent….

Continue reading