Diversitas: Perspectivas en Psicología
versão impressa ISSN 1794-9998
ARIAS DUQUE, Rodrigo. Psychological and neurochemical reactions duo to alcoholism. Diversitas [online]. 2005, vol.1, n.2, pp. 138-147. ISSN 1794-9998.
It is important to understand, from the pharmacological point of view, what is alcohol and how it acts in the organism. There is no a simple cause, but a complex interaction of neurochemical, physiological, psychological and social factors that give rise to this serious drug-dependent illness. The psycho-physiological and drug-dynamic action of the alcohol is basically depressive due to the reduction of the synaptic transmission in the human nervous system. It is a well-known fact that the excessive consumption of alcohol causes a chronic and acute dysfunction of the brain, producing disorders in the central nervous system, presenting alterations in the memory and in the intellectual functions such as calculations, comprehension and learning. The metabolism of alcohol will take place in the liver, producing an alcoholic-fat liver bigger in size and ending in necrosis and serious inflammation of the liver. This is called alcoholic hepatitis and if the person continues drinking cirrhosis of the liver will be developed. Alcohol has also been related to changes in the myocardium and it has been seen in healthy animals that the speed of contraction of the cardiac muscle as well as the maximum tension achieved by that contraction decrease in the presence of alcohol, and therefore, the strength of each contraction and the increase of pressure in the left ventricle are less and the hert cannot act as a pump.
Palavras-chave : Alcoholism; physiology; neuro-chemistry; cirrhosis; drug-addiction; excitability.