Binge alcoholic drinking has been shown to have genetic and structural changes to the brain, particularly in teens and young adults. A recent study has shown that this damage may be able to be reversed.
The damage in teens and young adults is majority caused in the hippocampus where the learning and memory takes place. This is also the area where overuse of alcohol will take place. Therefore, research conducted by Dr Swartzwelder at Duke Health, investigated the effects of alcoholic consumption 4 x per week in rats.
Finding showed that the rats that were drinking in excess had much fewer dendritic spines coming from the neutrons (important for carrying signals and neurotransmitters around the brain; see image).
However, when the rats were given the drug Donepezil the damage seemed to reverse itself, specifically the spines were denser and are longer.
This research may help Alzheimers and Parkinson disease.