A New Study Explores a Possible Link Between Dementia and Alcohol

According to official statistics, dementia and its subtypes are one of the primary causes of death around the world.

In the case of older adults affected by dementia, their cognitive functions are affected. This means that it is harder for them to reason or think clearly, and they are prone to memory loss. The severity of the disease will vary and manifest in different forms. Aggressive types of dementia can hamper daily life.

As the condition worsens, some patients will require the help of caretakers to perform basic tasks. To prevent such complications early diagnosis is a must. It is estimated that over 18.5 billion hours will be spent by unpaid caregivers who attend the needs of family members affected by dementia.

At this point some studies have identified a selection of factors connected to genetic structure, the environment, and select lifestyle choices. A previous study argued that there is a link between heavy alcohol consumption and cases of dementia encountered among people who feature the apilopoprotein E4 (OR ApoE4) gene.

A team of researchers decided to explore how alcohol can boost the risk of developing dementia, with a focus on people who are affected by mild cognitive impairment (or MCI). During the study, the researchers used data collected from over 3,000 patients over eight years, from 2000 to 2008.  The age of the participants was above 72 years, and they were not affected by dementia at the start of the study. Out of the participants, 2,548 did not have MCI while 373 had MCI.

The researchers divided the participants by using the amount of alcohol which was consumed: no alcohol, less than 1.0 drink per week, 1.0 to 7.0 drinks per week, 7.1 to 14.0 drinks per week, and more than 14.o drinks each week. Citizens who consumed more than 14 drinks per week achieved lower scores in tests which asserted cognitive performance.

More data can be found in the study, which was published in a scientific journal.

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