ESL Video Quiz: Alcohol and the brain

Quiz #: 25900
(ESL Category: listening) The effects of alcohol on the brain
Alcohol, brain, effects of alcohol 3269

You probably know the statistics: 100,000 deaths each year from alcohol related illness.

More than 16,000 deaths each year from alcohol related accidents.

Hundred of thousands of lives affected by alcohol related violence.

This tape is going to tell you just what alcohol does to your brain: it causes so much trouble.


First, a few words on how the brain works. The brain is made of billion cells called neurons. Neuron’s like a vast telephone network where messages are conveyed electronically from one spot to another. Each neuron has thousand of branches at its end called dendrites through which messages are sent and received.

The neurons communicate with each other by using chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters are released from the tips of these branches into the tiny space between the cells called synapses and attached to receptors located on the tips of the branches of the receiving neurons


Alcohol is a small simple molecule that can fit into the receptors of just about every cell in your body including your brain. When it gets into your brain receptors, it prevents the chemical messengers that suppose to deliver a very specific message from doing so.

In some parts of the brain, it blocks receptors so the chemical messengers can’t get through.

In other parts of the brain it causes the transmitting neurons to release extra messengers like it’s jammed in their own position and turn off until the alcohol leaves.

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