Drink Up: New Study Concludes Wine Can Offset Dementia

The study, which appears in Scientific Reports, shows that wine has an effect on one’s glymphatic function, or the way the brain removes toxins. To clear itself of damaging and accumulated proteins like tau and beta amyloid, which are often linked with dementia, the brain pumps in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) to act as a flushing solution. All sorts of variables can influence the glymphatic system’s operation, including trauma, stroke, and excessive alcohol intake.

When researchers dosed the mice in the study with moderate alcohol—amounting to 2.6 drinks daily—the glymphatic system was more efficient, removing more waste and exhibiting less inflammation than the teetotaling control mice.

As is usually the case when it comes to booze, you can have too much of a good thing. When mice got the equivalent of 7.9 drinks daily, their glymphatic system grew sluggish until the overindulging was terminated.

“Studies have shown that low-to-moderate alcohol intake is associated with a lesser risk of dementia, while heavy drinking for many years confers an increased risk of cognitive decline,” lead study author Maiken Nedergaard, of the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in a press statement. “This study may help explain why this occurs. Specifically, low doses of alcohol appear to improve overall brain health.”

from Mental Floss

To summarize:

  • Wine = brain health
  • Three glasses a day = “low-to-moderate alcohol intake”
  • Science is great

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Here’s the disappointingly low level of alcohol consumption associated with reduced risk of dementia

One drink a day (or less) for women and 1-2 drinks (or less) for men reduces the risk of developing dementia, a study has found.

It works out to between 8 and 14 drinks per week.

The study is one of the largest — and longest — to look at the connection between alcohol and dementia.

Dr Kaycee Sink, one of the study’s authors, said:

“As of yet, we still have no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, so it is important to look for things that might help people prevent the disease.

Moderate alcohol intake has been linked to lower risk of heart attacks, stroke, dementia, and death in middle-aged adults, but there is still controversy about alcohol intake in older adults.”

Over 3,000 people aged 75 or over took part in the research, which followed them for over six years.

The study found that those who drank moderately had a 37% reduction in the risk of developing dementia compared with those who did not drink at all.

In this study there was no link between the type of alcohol people drank and the benefits.

Dr Kaycee Sink

“We were excited to see that even in older adults, moderate alcohol intake decreases the risk of dementia,.

It is important to note, however, that our study found a significantly higher risk of dementia for heavy drinkers who started the study with mild cognitive impairment.”

The study can’t tell us whether people should abstain until they are in their 70s, but it seems likely the results reflect steady habits.


Dr Kaycee Sink said:

“The participants in this study self-reported their alcohol intake at the start, but it is unusual for people to start drinking in their 70s, so we assume that the habits they reported at the start of the study reflect stable drinking habits.

Without scientific data showing that it is beneficial, I wouldn’t recommend that non-drinkers start drinking in their 70s.”

Dr Kaycee Sink explained:

“Our results suggest that older adults who are normal cognitively and drink moderately do not need to change their drinking behavior.

If you have mild cognitive impairment however, it might benefit you to restrict your drinking and certainly not exceed one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.”

The study was published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia (Sink et al., 2009).

Read the original post on PsyBlog

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#Alzheimer’s Treatment Using Ultrasound Completely Restores Memory – PsyBlog

No snark today, just #science: Alzheimer’s Treatment Using Ultrasound Completely Restores Memory – PsyBlog.

via #Alzheimer’s Treatment Using Ultrasound Completely Restores Memory – PsyBlog.

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