Navigation Links
Drink Away Dementia?
Date:5/1/2009

Study shows one to two drinks daily may lower risk of cognitive decline in older adults

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate drinking can lower the risk of dementia in older people, new research shows.

"Amongst cognitively normal adults, one to two alcoholic drinks a day is associated with a 37 percent decreased risk of dementia over six years," said senior study author Dr. Kaycee Sink, an assistant professor of medicine in geriatrics at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, in Winston-Salem, N.C.

But among those in the study who had mild cognitive impairment to start with, drinking moderately had no effect. And heavier drinking -- two or more a day -- nearly doubled their risk of developing dementia during the six-year follow-up.

Sink presented her findings Thursday at the American Geriatrics Society annual meeting, in Chicago.

Sink, along with study author Dr. Deanna Mangieri, a clinical geriatric fellow at Wake Forest University, and their colleagues looked at 3,069 men and women, average age 79, and followed them for six years.

At the study start, 2,587 were evaluated as cognitively normal; 482 had mild cognitive impairment, which can progress to dementia.

The researchers asked about alcohol intake, smoking, depression, social activity and other factors, and tested the participants' cognitive functioning at the end of the study.

About 38 percent of the participants had one to seven drinks a week, while about 9 percent had eight to 14 drinks a week.

The bottom line, according to Sink: "If you are cognitively normal, there is no reason you should avoid light to moderate use of alcohol, and it may be beneficial. But if you have memory problems, we would probably say any amount of alcohol may be hazardous for your cognitive functioning. If you already have some memory problems, drinking is not going to help prevent progression to dementia, and may accelerate your progression."

Exactly why and how alcohol seems to help preserve normal cognitive functioning isn't clear, experts say. It may increase the release of a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which helps brain cells communicate with each other.

The new results conflict with those from an earlier study, reported in 2007 in the journal Neurology, that found people with mild cognitive impairment might slow their mental decline with up to one drink a day.

The first finding in the new study -- the 37 percent reduction in dementia among cognitively healthy moderate drinkers -- "is a very substantial reduction," said Dr. Denis Evans, Jesmer Professor of Internal Medicine at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging at Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago.

"This is consistent with other studies," he said.

As for the finding that those mildly impaired get no benefit or, if they drink more than moderately, increase their risk of dementia? There may not have been enough participants to definitively find a link, Evans said.

And, Evans added, what looks like a healthy effect of alcohol among those who are cognitively normal and drink may actually be due to something else. "Is it really the effect of the alcohol or the difference between people who drink and those who don't?'' he asked.

For instance, he said, older adults who drink alcohol moderately may be in better physical and mental shape. The healthy cognitive function that persists may be due to other lifestyle habits.

And, Evans added, "Alcohol consumption is something to be cautious about even though it seems to have some beneficial effects."

More information

To learn more about the warning signs of Alzheimer's disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association.



SOURCES: Kaycee Sink, M.D., assistant professor, medicine in geriatrics, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Denis Evans, M.D., Jesmer Professor of Internal Medicine, Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago; April 30, 2009, presentation, American Geriatrics Society annual meeting, Chicago


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Heavy Drinking Boosts Stroke Risk for Chinese Men
2. Good Cholesterol Wont Help Heavy-Drinking Older Men
3. Drinking Often Spurs Move to Poorer Neighborhoods
4. Underage drinking starts before adolescence
5. Briefing on a new Web resource to address global drinking water crisis
6. Joint Juice Launches New Ready-to-Drink Glucosamine & Vitamin-Enhanced Dietary Supplement Water Nationwide
7. Family history of alcoholism affects response to drug used to treat heavy drinking
8. Teenage Drinking Can Spell Lasting Trouble
9. Worldwide Probiotic Drink, Yakult(R), Launches in Its First Major U.S. Market
10. Alcohol and cancer: is drinking the new smoking?
11. Chocolate Milk: The Official Drink of Halloween
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Drink Away Dementia?
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... The 89th Academy Awards will be celebrated this ... Education Policy Center Bunkum Award. We invite you to enjoy our 11th annual tongue-in-cheek ... winner is the Center for American Progress (CAP), for its report, Lessons From State ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... media outlet with a clinician-based audience, will be participating in Rare Disease Day ... in Washington, D.C. In addition, Rare Disease Report, a website, weekly e-newsletter and ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... Los ... two episodes of WE TV’s “Mama June: From Not to Hot,” which will begin ... notable, “Mama” June Shannon, known to millions from the 2012 reality television series, “Here ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Lawn, NJ (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 ... ... specializing in thought leadership , media relations, content marketing, social media management, ... With several clients already in the state and in nearby New Hampshire, Massachusetts ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... California (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... Sports Development will host a diverse symposium on “Doping in Sport: ... Law and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. The symposium will be held ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Medivir AB (Nasdaq ... a new Board of Directors that will be submitted ... Committee comprises representatives of the company,s three largest shareholders ... who have accepted a seat on the Nomination Committee, ... the 2016-2017 Nomination Committee was as follows:  ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. ... The latest research Autism Spectrum Disorder Drugs Price Analysis ... the global Autism Spectrum Disorder market. The research answers the ... drugs marketed for Autism Spectrum Disorder and their clinical attributes? How ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017 ITL Limited, ( ASX: ITD ), an innovative ... half year ended 31 December 2016 compared with the previous corresponding ... be viewed here . Highlights ... 104%) Earnings per share of 2.2 cents (Dec ... (Dec 2015: $15.7m; up 11%) Profit before tax ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: