As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: May 22, 2012
by Medical XPress:
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other types of dementia are most common in the very elderly, and are associated with huge health costs. With a rapidly ageing population throughout the world, factors that affect the risk of cognitive decline and dementia are of great importance.
A review paper by Kim JW et al published in Psychiatry Investigation on the association between alcohol consumption and cognition in the elderly provides an excellent summary of the potential ways in which alcohol may affect cognitive function and the risk of dementia, both adversely and favourably as alcohol may have both a neuro toxic and neuro protective effect, depending on the dose and drinking pattern.
Longitudinal and brain imaging studies in the elderly show that excessive alcohol consumption may increase the risk of cognitive dysfunction and dementia, but regular low to moderate alcohol intake may protect against cognitive decline and dementia and provide cardiovascular benefits.
Studies published from 1971 to 2011 related to alcohol and cognition in the elderly were reviewed using a PubMed search. At present, there are no proven agents to prevent cognitive decline or dementia, although a number of prospective epidemiologic studies have shown a lower risk of such conditions among light to moderate drinkers in comparison with non-drinkers. Other studies have found that beneficial effects are seen only among certain sub-groups of subjects. A recent meta-analysis by Peters et al of subjects over the age of 65 in longitudinal studies concluded that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption, in comparison with abstinence, was associated with approximately 35-45% lower risk of cognitive decline or dementia.
This paper provides a summary of what is known about the mechanisms by which alcohol consumption, especially heavy drinking, can be neurotoxic, and how light-to-moderate drinking may help protect against cognitive decline and dementia. The authors state that their intent is to determine if there is an “optimal pattern of drinking” that may protect the elderly against such conditions.
At present, the mechanisms by which the moderate intake of wine and other alcoholic beverages reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases are much better defined than they are for cognition. Forum members agree with the authors that further research is needed to evaluate a potential role that alcohol may play in reducing the risk of dementia.
Forum members also agree that, at present, the specific mechanisms of such putative protection are not well defined, and it would be premature to recommend light-to-moderate drinking for reducing the risk of dementia. On the other hand, current biomedical data supports the concept that regular, moderate intake of ethanol is not simply less dangerous for cognitive function, but is positively protective. This is the same conclusion reached by epidemiologic studies.”
Maintaining our dignity, independence, and safety is key to maintaining good quality of life as we age. On Tuesday December 11, join Women’s Brain Health Initiative and AGE-WELL and two expert panelists address how technology can support independent...
The administration of general anesthesia (an anesthetic used to induce unconsciousness during surgery), and its potential for long-term cognitive effects, has been under intense scrutiny. Memory loss after surgery affects more than 35% of young adults...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.