Tags: drinking | dementia | alcohol

Moderate Drinking Combats Dementia

Thursday, 24 May 2012 11:37 AM

Call it the “Goldilocks Effect.” Moderate consumption of alcohol appears to offer seniors protection against dementia, but excessive drinking can promote cognitive declines similar to those associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new analysis of health studies over the past 40 years.

Boston University Medical Center researchers who analyzed a series of studies – published since 1971 -- on the association between alcohol consumption and cognition in the elderly found there appears to be a fine line between the “neuro toxic and neuro protective” effects of drinking, largely depending on how much a senior imbibes.
The analysis, led by J.W. Kim and published in the journal Psychiatry Investigation, concluded numerous studies have found “light to moderate drinkers” – those who consume about two to three drinks daily -- have 35-40 percent lower risks of experiencing cognitive declines or dementia than non-drinkers over 65 years of age.
But other studies have found that heavy drinking can significantly increase the risk of cognitive declines and dementia as people age.
“Consumption of large amounts of alcohol is known to have negative effects,” the researchers concluded. “But consumption in smaller amounts may be protective. The effect of alcohol may be greater in the elderly than in younger adults, particularly with regard to cognition.”

© HealthDay

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Moderate drinking can stave off dementia in seniors, but excessive alcohol promotes mental declines.
Thursday, 24 May 2012 11:37 AM
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