However, according to a study published in Age and Ageing by Oxford University Press today, there is evidence that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption may decrease the risk of cognitive decline or dementia.
Estimates from various studies have suggested the prevalence of alcohol-related dementia to be about 10% of all cases of dementia. Now researchers have found after analyzing 23 longitudinal studies of subjects aged 65 years and older that the impact of small amounts of alcohol was associated with lower incidence rates of overall dementia and Alzheimer dementia, but not of vascular dementia and cognitive decline.
It is still an open question whether different alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, and spirits, all have a similar effect. Some studies have shown a positive effect of wine only, which may be due either to the level of ethanol, the complex mixture that comprises wine, or to the healthier life-style ascribed to wine drinkers.
A total of 3,327 patients were interviewed in their homes by trained investigators (physicians, psychologists, gerontologists) and reassessed one and a half years and three years later. Information on the cognitive status of those who had died in the interim was collected from family members, caregivers or primary care physicians.
Among the 3,327 patients interviewed at baseline, 84.8% (n=2,820) could be personally interviewed one and a half years later and 73.9% (n=2,460) three years later. For the vast majority of subjects who could not be personally interviewed, systematic assessments (follow-up 1: 482; follow-up 2: 336) focusing particularly on dementia could be obtained from GPs, relatives or caregivers. Within three years, follow-up assessments were unavailable for only 49 subjects (1.5%). Proxy information could be obtained for 98.0% (n=295) of the 301 patients who had died in the interim. Since dementia is associated with a higher mortality rate, proxy information is particularly important in order to avoid underestimation of incident dementia cases.
At baseline there were 3,202 persons without dementia. Alcohol consumption information was available for 3,180 subjects:
50.0% were abstinent
24.8% consumed less than one drink (10 grams of alcohol) per day
12.8% consumed 10-19 grams of alcohol per day
12.4% consumed 20 or more grams per day
A small subgroup of 25 participants fulfilled the criteria of harmful drinking (>60 grams of alcohol per day for men, respectively >40 grams for women)
One man (>120 grams of alcohol per day) and one woman (>80 grams of alcohol per day) reported an extremely high consumption of alcohol
Among the consumers of alcohol almost half (48.6%) drank wine only
29.0% drank beer only
22.4% drank mixed alcohol beverages (wine, beer, or spirits)
Alcohol consumption was significantly associated with male gender, younger age, higher level of education, not living alone, and not being depressed.
The calculation of incident cases of dementia is based on 3,202 subjects who had no dementia at baseline. Within the follow-up period of three years:
217 cases of dementia (6.8%) were diagnosed, whereby 111 subjects (3.5%) suffered from Alzheimer dementia. Due to the relatively small numbers, other subgroups of dementia (vascular dementia: n=42; other specific dementia, e.g. dementia in Parkinson's disease, Lewy body dementia, alcohol dementia: n=14; dementia with unknown aetiology: n=50) were not considered in the following analyses.
Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that alcohol consumption was significantly associated with a lower incidence of overall dementia and Alzheimer dementia. In line with a large-scale study also based on GP attenders aged 75 years and older, the study found that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption was associated with relatively good physical and mental health. This three-year follow-up study included, at baseline, only those subjects 75 years of age and older, the mean age was 80.2 years, much higher than that in most other studies.
This study is part of the German Research Network on Dementia (KND) and the German Research Network on Degenerative Dementia (KNDD) and was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (grants KND: 01GI0102, 01GI0420, 01GI0422, 01GI0423, 01GI0429, 01GI0431, 01GI0433, 01GI0434; grants KNDD: O1GI0710, 01GI0711, 01GI0712, 01GI0713, 01GI0714, 01GI0715, 01GI0716). The funding bodies have had no influence on the paper or the decision to publish.Related links:
For any additional information, or to speak with any of the researchers associated with this article please contact:Purdy
Christian Purdy | EurekAlert!
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
24.05.2017 | Information Technology
24.05.2017 | Awards Funding
24.05.2017 | Earth Sciences