Alcohol and the brain

by Dr Anne Lingford-Hughes and Ms Rosie Lees


Published: January 2011


In this module, we will examine how alcohol affects the brain at a structural level. 


We will also look at:


  • which brain areas are involved in mediating the effects of alcohol


  • the processes involved in dependency


  • the neuropharmacology involved in mediating the key effects of alcohol


  • neuroadaptations with chronic use and withdrawal


  • the underlying psychopharmacology of pharmacotherapeutic strategies


  • how neuroimaging has been used to characterise the neurobiology of alcoholism. 


Start the module


Please note: This module was last updated in 2011. A revision is being worked on, but in the meantime please be aware when completing the module that some of the guidance may have changed.


If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Alcohol-related brain damage by Professor Kenneth Wilson, Dr Joy Bell and Dr Vanessa Craig


Substance misuse in older people by Dr Rahul Rao and Professor Ilana Crome


Dual diagnosis: the diagnosis and treatment of depression with co-existing substance misuse by Professor Ilana Crome and Dr Roger Bloor



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© 2018 Royal College of Psychiatrists