Alcohol consumption has been established by healthcare organizations as a leading factor in health conditions such as liver, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer, leading to premature deaths. The most significant cause of mental health conditions globally is alcohol use disorder, which harms consumers’ physical, social, and cognitive functioning (Daviet et al., 2022). However, this research will only explore the cognitive effect of alcohol on brain structure, which is associated with micro and macrostructural changes that affect cerebellar, hippocampal, frontal, and diencephalic brain structures.
Despite evidence on the relationship between brain structure and alcohol consumption, limited research has explored the relationship between people who consume alcohol and do not have alcohol use disorders (AUD), such as cognitive effects. In systematic reviews of twenty articles published from 2000-2018, the report showed a relationship between alcohol consumption above 38g and the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia (Brennan et al., 2020). In one of the reports, there is straightforward evidence of a relationship between brain structure and alcohol. However, there are no clear differences in structure between people who consume less than 7 alcohol units weekly and those who do not. Topiwala et al. (2020) investigates moderate alcohol consumption, which is above 7 units weekly; the research shows that this consumption is associated with hippocampus and putamen susceptibility. Cognitive domains that have been identified to be susceptible to these effects of alcohol consumption are inhibition, decision-making, memory, learning, and cognitive flexibility (Charlton & Perry, 2022); these domains will inform this research to obtain clear answers to relationship brain structure and alcohol dependency.
In conclusion, there is inclusive evidence on the levels of alcohol that are severely harmful to the brain structure. Thus, this research will provide statistical data accounting for the negative relationship between alcohol and the brain. The study will represent females and males across different age groups for a holistic understanding of the effects of alcohol consumption.