A drink a day may slow mental decline to dementia
[ 2007-05-23 09:07 ]
In older people with mild cognitive
impairment, having a drink now and then -- up to an average of one drink
of alcohol each day -- may delay progression to dementia
, new research suggests.
In older people with mild cognitive impairment,
having a drink now
and then -- up to an average of one drink
of alcohol each day -- may delay progression to dementia , new
"While many studies have assessed alcohol
consumption and cognitive function in the elderly, this is
the first study to look at how alcohol consumption affects the rate of
progression of mild cognitive impairment to dementia," study authors Dr.
Vincenzo Solfrizzi and Dr. Francesco Panza, from the University of Bari in
Italy, said in a statement.
In the study, reported in the medical journal Neurology, the
researchers assessed the occurrence of mild cognitive impairment in 1445
subjects and the progression to dementia in 121 patients with mild
The participants were between 65 and 84 years of age at the start of
the study, and they were followed for 3.5 years. Alcohol use was assessed
before the survey.
Drinking was not associated the development of mild cognitive
impairment, according to the report. However, once mild impairment
occurred, subjects who had up to one drink per day of alcohol had an 85
percent reduced risk of dementia compared with those who abstained.
The benefit was seen with both alcohol in general and with wine in
Having more than one drink a day, however, offered no protection
against dementia compared with abstaining, the report indicates.
"The mechanism responsible for why low alcohol consumption appears to
protect against the progression to dementia isn't known. However, it is
possible that the arrangement of blood vessels in the brain may play a
role," Solfrizzi and Panza conclude.(Reuters)