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Parental Alcoholism Linked to Brain Changes in Kids
Adolescent brains respond toِ risky situations differently ifِ the teen’s parents areِ alcoholics, newِ research finds.
While preceding studies haveِ shown thatِ adolescents withِ a family history ofِ alcoholism (FHP) areِ at a risk forِ developing alcohol-abuse disorders andِ that drinking increases risky decision-making, theِ newِ study isِ the firstِ to lookِ atِ risk-taking behaviors among FHP teens whoِ haveِ never drunk alcohol themselves.
(The researchers defined family history ofِ alcoholism asِ those teens withِ atِ least oneِ biological parent withِ a history ofِ alcohol abuse and/or alcohol dependence, orِ those withِ twoِ orِ moreِ second-degree relatives meeting thisِ condition onِ eitherِ the maternal orِ paternal side ofِ the family.) A previous study looked atِ young adults whoِ wereِ drinkers, therefore, itِ isِ hard toِ sayِ ifِ the differences foundِ were purely a pre-existing neural risk factor forِ alcohol use, study researcher Megan Herting ofِ Oregon Health & Science University saidِ inِ a statement.