Mixing Energy Drinks, Alcohol As Dangerous As Cocaine To Brain

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Drinking highly caffeinated alcoholic beverages has been shown to trigger changes in the adolescent brain. The changes are similar to taking cocaine. According to findings of a study published in the journal ‘PLOS ONE’, the consequences of drinking highly caffeinated alcoholic beverages, last into adulthood as an altered ability to deal with rewarding substances.

Cocaine, also known as coke, is a strong stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug. It is commonly snorted, inhaled, or injected into the veins.

Mental effects of cocaine may include loss of contact with reality, an intense feeling of happiness, or agitation while physical symptoms may include a fast heart rate, sweating, and large pupil. Cocaine has a small number of accepted medical uses such as numbing and decreasing bleeding during nasal surgery.

Science daily reported that Richard van Rijn, an assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology, looked at the effects of highly caffeinated energy drinks and highly caffeinated alcohol in adolescent mice.

According to researchers from the Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, United States, U.S., these alcohol studies cannot be performed in adolescent humans, but changes seen in mouse brains with drugs of abuse have been shown to correlate to those in humans in many drug studies.

These energy drinks can contain as much as 10 times the caffeine as soda and are often marketed to adolescents. But little is known about the health effects of the drinks, especially when consumed with alcohol during adolescence.

Van Rijn and graduate student, Meridith Robins, published results in the journal Alcohol that showed adolescent mice given high-caffeine energy drinks were not more likely than a control group to drink more alcohol as adults.

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