Alcohol damages trauma recovery

Chronic alcohol abuse damages the brain’s capacity to recover from trauma, putting heavy drinkers at increased risk for trauma-related anxiety disorders, a study shows.

Excessive consumption of alcohol alters the shape of the nerve cells in the prefrontal cortex of the brain and suppresses the activity of a key receptor, NMDA. This impairs a critical mechanism for trauma recovery.

These findings pinpoint exactly where alcohol causes damage that leads to problems overcoming fear, helping scientists understand why heavy drinkers are more susceptible to stress and anxiety disorders.

Read more at University of North Carolina