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Slow Dementia With A Daily Toddy

Slowing the progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia may be accomplished by enjoying a drink of alcohol a day.

Mild cognitive impairment is a transitional stage between normal aging and dementia that is used to classify people with mild memory or cognitive problems and no significant disability.

The study is published in the May 22, 2007, issue of Neurology®, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers evaluated alcohol consumption and the incidence of mild cognitive impairment in 1,445 people. They then followed 121 people with mild cognitive impairment and their progression to dementia. The participants, age 65 to 84, were part of the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging and were followed for three-and-a-half years.

The study found people with mild cognitive impairment who had up to one drink of alcohol a day, mostly wine, developed dementia at an 85 percent slower rate than people with mild cognitive impairment who never drank alcohol.

“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,” said study authors Vincenzo Solfrizzi, MD, PhD, and Francesco Panza, MD, PhD, with the Department of Geriatrics at the University of Bari, in Bari, Italy.

“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 in why alcohol consumption appears to protect against dementia.

This would support other observations that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect the brain from stroke and vascular dementia.”

The study did not find any association between higher levels of drinking, more than one drink per day, and the rate of progression to dementia in people with mild cognitive impairment compared to non-drinkers.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Slow Dementia With A Daily Toddy

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Slow Dementia With A Daily Toddy. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 22, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/05/22/slow-dementia-with-a-daily-toddy/844.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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