Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Alcohol addiction and stress are both highly prevalent health conditions impacting our society. With stress on the rise in college students and alcohol addiction impacting 19.7 million Americans as of 2017, communication around the science of these issues is ever important because of stigma around them. This digitally animated video effectively explains alcohol addiction and stress on a neurobiological level with college science students as the audience, including two important examples of how stress and alcohol addiction interact. Stress experienced early in life is a known risk factor in developing addiction due to dysregulation of the reward pathway and altered limbic brain regions. Furthermore, corticotropin-releasing factor, a neuropeptide crucial in initiation of stress response pathways and present throughout the limbic brain regions, contributes to the continued administration of alcohol as well as heightened anxiety addicts experience during withdrawal. Ultimately this video aims to improve mental health by increasing awareness around alcohol addiction and stress, as well as inspire college students to pursue further neuroscience knowledge.
Bacon-Brenes, Claire, "Neuroscience of Stress & Addiction: A Digitally Animated Video on How these Brain Systems Interact and Influence Each Other from Early Life Stress to Withdrawal" (2020). Scripps Senior Theses. 1580.