Twenty-one percent of teenagers in the U.S. say that they have participated in binge drinking within the past 30 days. More than 90 percent of the alcohol consumed by underage drinkers is consumed during binge drinking episodes. Now researchers at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine find that repeated binge drinking during adolescence can affect brain functions in future generations.
This study, based on an animal model, finds that “adolescent binge drinking altered the on-off switches of multiple genes in the brains of offspring. When genes are turned on, they instruct cells to make proteins, which ultimately control physical and behavioral traits.” The offsprings’ genes that normally are turned on were turned off, and vice versa.