|Hold your horses.|
University College London published in the journal Neurology - UCL study on recall and thinking finds cognition worsening in middle-age drinkers up to six years earlier than normal. Here comes the best evidence, it suggests that not drinking at all we can lower the risk of dementia by eating a healthy, preferably vegetarian diet.
The long-term effect of alcohol on the brain has not been extensively researched. Most studies have looked at elderly people, who have usually stopped or considerably reduced their drinking. Now now heavy drinking linked to early onset of memory decline in men.
The paper by scientists at University College London published in the journal Neurology looks at the drinking habits of a large group of middle-aged men and women and their performance in cognitive functioning tests – how well they think and remember things – 10 years later. It appears to show that heavy drinking, at least in men, leads to significant deterioration over the long term.
They focused on more than 5,000 men and 2,000 women who were aged 45 to 69 at the beginning of the study.
Their drinking habits were assessed three times over a decade. They took memory and executive function tests on three occasions. Executive functioning includes reasoning, task flexibility and problem-solving ability.
The 10-year study published in Neurology found 'significant deterioration' in memory for men drinking more than 36g a day.
Conclusions: Excessive alcohol consumption in men (≥36 g/d) was associated with faster cognitive decline compared with light to moderate alcohol consumption.
© 2014 American Academy of Neurology.
Men who are habitual heavy drinkers, downing more than two pints of beer every day, are likely to start having the sort of memory lapses, that are commonly associated with ageing, up to six years early, according to a new study. Not enough women in the study were heavy drinkers for the scientists to conclude the same things happened to them.
The people in this study did not have dementia but memory decline can be a precursor to dementia and understanding the risk factors for this decline could be important for preventing the condition.
According to reseachers It's crucial to continue investing in research if we are to understand how to keep our brains healthy as we age and prevent the diseases that cause dementia.