Tags: Alzheimer's/Dementia | alcohol | brain | protein | beta amyloid | tau | eliminate

Low Levels of Alcohol Good for Brain

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By    |   Friday, 02 Feb 2018 11:39 AM

It's well known that a glass of wine can help clear your mind and help you relax after a busy day, but research from the University of Rochester Medical Center shows it also reduces inflammation and helps the brain clear away toxins, including those associated with Alzheimer's disease.

"Prolonged intake of excessive amounts of ethanol is known to have adverse effects on the central nervous system," said lead author Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, co-director of the university's Center for Translational Neuromedicine.

"However, in this study we have shown for the first time that low doses of alcohol are potentially beneficial to brain health, namely it improves the brain's ability to remove waste."

Nedergaard's results add to previous research that show health benefits of low amounts of alcohol, including reduced cardiovascular risk as well as some cancers.  

When researchers studied the brains of mice exposed to both acute and chronic amounts of alcohol, they found high levels of a molecular marker for inflammation. But the brains of animals exposed to the equivalent of two-and-a-half drinks a day showed less inflammation.

In addition, their brains were more efficient at removing waste via the glymphatic system, the brain's unique cleaning process. The study found the process was effective in eliminating the toxic proteins beta amyloid and tau from the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's disease.

"Studies have shown that low-to-moderate alcohol intake is associated with a lesser risk of dementia, while heavy drinking for many years confers an increased risk of cognitive decline," said Nedergaard. "This study may help explain why this occurs. Specifically, low doses of alcohol appear to improve overall brain health."

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Another recent study found that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol regularly improves a person's chances of reaching the age of 85 free of dementia and other age-related cognitive impairments.

Research conducted by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that among men and women 85 and older, individuals who consumed "moderate to heavy" amounts of alcohol five to seven days a week were twice as likely to be cognitively healthy than non-drinkers.

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It's well known that a glass of wine can help clear your mind and help you relax after a busy day, but research from the University of Rochester Medical Center shows it also reduces inflammation and helps the brain clear away toxins, including those associated with...
alcohol, brain, protein, beta amyloid, tau, eliminate, inflammation
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2018-39-02
Friday, 02 Feb 2018 11:39 AM
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