The Latest Research Article Chronic Alcohol Use Is Bad for the
Brain, Warn Researchers Text to speech brain health lifestyle
nutrition risk factors alcohol-dementia Chronic Alcohol Use Is
Bad for the Brain, Warn Researchers By Emily Woodruff |
February 21st, 2018In recent years, researchers have found
evidence that a daily glass of wine may bolster brain health,
but scientists still debate whether alcohol, in any amount, should
be recommended to lower dementia risk. Many studies point
to the damaging effects it has on the brain and new evidence,
published this week, shows that drinking too much alcohol
regularly can increase risk for all types of dementia, especially
early-onset Alzheimers.A recent study published in the
journal Lancet Public Health showed that data from over a
million adults points to excessive alcoholism as a dangerous
risk factor for dementia. Researchers looked at data from the
French National Hospital Discharge database and found that
alcohol-use disorders were present in 16.5 percent of men with
dementia and 4 percent of women with dementia thats twice as
much as in those without dementia in the case of both men and women.
The study paid special attention to the link between early-onset
dementia, classified as anyone with a diagnosis under the age of 65.
Of the 57,000 cases of early-onset dementia, researchers found
that 57 percent were related to chronic drinking.But how much
alcohol is too much alcohol? The World Health Organization
defines chronic drinking as more than 60 grams of pure alcohol
per day for men four to five drinks) and more than 40 grams of
pure alcohol per day for women three drinks).We've known for a
while that heavy drinking can increase your risk of developing dementia.
This study suggests that alcohol abuse disorders may be responsible
for more cases of early-onset dementia than previously thought,
said Doug Brown, Chief Policy and Research Officer at Alzheimers Society.However, Brown points out that this study was limited to
France, and other countries may have different drinking habits that
could affect risk of early-onset differently.This study in no way
suggests that moderate alcohol intake could cause early-onset dementia.
The study doesn't change the advice to stick to no more than
14 units [one unit is how much pure alcohol an adult can process
in an hour] of alcohol a week, said Brown. Researchers who led the
study suggested that this information should lead to screenings for
alcohol use and interventions and treatment for alcohol disorders in
order to curb dementia.The findings indicate that heavy drinking and
alcohol-use disorders are the most important risk factors for dementia,
and especially important for those types of dementia which start before age 65,
and which lead to premature deaths, said study co-author and Director of
the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health CAMH) Institute
Dr. Alcohol-induced brain damage and dementia are preventable,
and known-effective preventive and policy measures can make a
dent into premature dementia deaths.And not only does heavy alcohol
use increase dementia risk; it also increases risk for a number of other
factors associated with dementia, like tobacco smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, lower education, depression and hearing loss.
For many of those people, dementia is the cause of death.
As a geriatric psychiatrist, I frequently see the effects of alcohol-use
disorder on dementia, when unfortunately alcohol treatment
interventions may be too late to improve cognition, said CAMH
Vice President of Research Dr. Screening for and reduction of
problem drinking, and treatment for alcohol-use disorders need to
start much earlier in primary care.This study was published in the
journal Lancet Public Health.