The Center for Disease Control and Prevention describes binge drinking as five or more drinks in a row for men and four or more drinks at a time for women. In recent years, binge drinking has become a serious threat, especially for young adults. Research links the rise in number of car accidents, liver failure and many other fatal health problems to binge drinking and stresses on the urgent need to resolve it.Scientists claim to have developed a way of predicting which teenagers are likely to binge-drink. The method is said to be about 70 percent accurate and can suggest which 14-year olds are likely to binge-drink once they turn 16. (Read more: An emerging technique that can stop binge drinking)The research looked at a combination of 40 factors: Personality, sensation-seeking traits, conscientiousness, a family history of drug use, neuroticism, extravagance, how the brain responds to reward and many more.The study appeared online in the journal 'Nature' and suggested that every single drink consumed at the age of 14 can take the teenager a step closer to being a binge drinker.Robert Whelan, a lecturer at the University College Dublin in Ireland went on to explain this, "Our goal was to develop a model to better understand the roles of brain structure and function, personality, environmental influences and genetics in the development of adolescent abuse of alcohol."
He added, "There is no one really big thing. It's a bunch of little things adding up to give you this prediction."To reach this conclusion, Whelan and his team conducted 10 hours of comprehensive assessments over eight different sites in Europe. The 2400 participants were given brain scans and observed over the course of a few years. This study followed kids and identified those who developed a pattern of binge-drinking.They identified brain networks that predisposed some teenagers to higher-risk behaviors like experimentation with drugs and alcohol. The study aimed to identify those who would go on to drink heavily at the age of 16 using data collected from when they were 14. Hugh Garavan, author and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont in the US said "The final model was very broad - it suggested that a wide mixture of reasons underlie teenage drinking."In addition, the study also discovered that troubled teenagers who'd experienced stressful life events in the past were at a greater risk for binge-drinking.With inputs from IANS
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