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Alcohol use disorder is a 'major risk factor' for dementia

By Tim Newman, February 21, 2018

Medical News Today - medicalnewstoday. com

A recent study scrutinized the relationship between alcohol and dementia. The researchers found that alcohol use disorders are a major risk factor for all types of dementia.

Dementia is characterized by steady cognitive decline and affects 5–7 percent of those over 60. This makes it a leading cause of disability.

Though there are a number of dementia types — including Alzheimer's disease, which is the most common form — progressive damage to the brain features in all of them. However, the cause of this damage can vary.

Certain risk factors — such as aging, smoking, and depression — are already known, but the role of alcohol has proven more difficult to pin down.

Perhaps counterintuitively, some studies have concluded that light drinking may have a protective effect against dementia. Conversely, moderate alcohol use appears to have a detrimental impact on brain structure and may therefore increase dementia risk.

Heavy drinking and dementia

However, heavy drinking is more robustly linked to an increased risk of dementia. This appears to be for a number of reasons.

Firstly, when alcohol is broken down in the body, it... [ CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE ]


[CURATED CONTENT: Written By Tim Newman, February 21, 2018 - originally published in]

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