Excessive drinking during adolescence thins areas of the developing brain, new research reveals.
Teenagers that binge or heavily drink have reduced brain tissue in the regions associated with reason, logic, problem solving, planning and memory, a study found.
Researchers believe drinking large quantities of alcohol while the brain is still maturing may permanently damage a person's nervous system and increase their risk of alcoholism.
Study author Professor Anita Cservenka from Oregon State University, said: 'Adolescence is a time when the brain still matures including not only biological development but also maturation of psychosocial behaviors.
'These brain alterations, as a result of heavy alcohol use during adolescence and young adulthood, could result in increased risk of developing an alcohol use disorder later on in life.'