Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Moderate Drinking Can Reduce Risks Of Alzheimer's Dementia And Cognitive Decline, Analysis Suggests

Date:
December 31, 2008
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Moderate drinkers often have lower risks of Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive loss, according to researchers who reviewed 44 studies. In more than half of the studies, published since the 1990s, moderate drinkers of wine, beer and liquor had lower dementia risks than nondrinkers.

Moderate drinkers often have lower risks of Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive loss, according to researchers who reviewed 44 studies.

In more than half of the studies, published since the 1990s, moderate drinkers of wine, beer and liquor had lower dementia risks than nondrinkers. In only a few studies were there increased risks.

"Alcohol is a two-edged sword," said Michael Collins, Ph.D., a professor and neuroscientist at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and lead author of the refereed report in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. "Too much is bad. But a little might actually be helpful."

Moderate alcohol consumption generally is defined as 1 drink or less per day for women and 1-2 drinks or less per day for men.

"The pathological damage and vast social havoc from addiction to and abuse of alcohol are well known, and of necessity should continue to receive primary attention by doctors, scientific researchers and health professionals," Collins and colleagues write. "However, light-to-moderate responsible alcohol consumption "appears to carry certain health benefits."

Long-term alcohol abuse can cause memory loss and impair cognitive function. It's unknown why moderate alcohol use appears to have the opposite effect. One theory is that the well-known cardiovascular benefits of moderate alcohol consumption also can reduce the risk of mini strokes that cause dementia.

Collins and another Loyola professor, neuroscientist Edward Neafsey, Ph.D., suggest a second possible explanation. Small amounts of alcohol might, in effect, make brain cells more fit. Alcohol in moderate levels stresses cells and thus toughens them up to cope with major stresses down the road that could cause dementia.

For most people who drink responsibly and in moderation, there's probably no reason to quit. But because of the potential for alcohol to be abused, Collins and Neafsey do not recommend that abstainers begin drinking. The researchers note there are other things besides moderate drinking that can reduce the risk of dementia, including exercise, green tea, education and a Mediterranean diet high in fruits, vegetables, cereals, beans, nuts and seeds.

Moreover, there are times when people should never drink, including adolescence, pregnancy and before driving, Collins said.

The article will be published in the February 2009 issue of the journal, and is available on line now. The article summarizes a roundtable, organized by Collins, held at the Research Society on Alcoholism meetings in Chicago in 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Moderate Drinking Can Reduce Risks Of Alzheimer's Dementia And Cognitive Decline, Analysis Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081229200750.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2008, December 31). Moderate Drinking Can Reduce Risks Of Alzheimer's Dementia And Cognitive Decline, Analysis Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081229200750.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Moderate Drinking Can Reduce Risks Of Alzheimer's Dementia And Cognitive Decline, Analysis Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081229200750.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins