The purpose of the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA) is to determine the effects of alcohol use on the developing adolescent brain, and examine brain characteristics that predict alcohol use problems. The consortium has developed a core battery, including structural and functional brain scans and cognitive testing, for use at all five sites. NCANDA conducts specialty projects on sleep, response inhibition, and recovery with alcohol discontinuation. The examination of alcohol consequences focuses on maturation of brain areas that actively develop during adolescence, are key to response inhibition and reward, and may be vulnerable to toxic alcohol effects.


Alcohol Use is Prevalent in Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Alcohol is the most commonly used substance by youth. Surveys show that 61% of high school seniors report having used alcohol in their life, and past month alcohol use increases from 7% to 33% between 8th and 12th grade. Of great concern is the prevalence of alcohol intoxication and binge drinking, with 16% of high school seniors reporting an episode of binge drinking (5+ drinks in a row in the past two weeks; Johnston et al., 2017). » READ MORE



October 2015

This year's Steering and Scientific Advisory Board Meeting was held in Bethesda, MD on October 28 and 29. Participants included NCANDA lead investigators, SAB members, and NIH colleagues. The two main foci of the meeting were to review the progress that NCANDA has made toward its goals and to prepare for the upcoming competitive grant renewal. » READ MORE



November 2017

'Striking' Impact of Adolescent Drinking on the Brain

Drinking during adolescence interrupts normal brain development and results in gray matter loss, new research shows.


May 2015

Youth and Addiction: Can There Be Freedom of Will? -- Degrees of Freedom with Sandra A. Brown

This program and other videos are available online on UCSD-TV's web site at

October 2014

At a congressional briefing co-sponsored by APA, experts say it's critical to prevent substance abuse early on. » READ MORE


Data Distribution Agreement