Light Alcohol Consumption Over 60 May Improve Memory

New research published in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, suggests that past the age 60, those who drink alcohol but do not abuse alcohol, may be improving their ability to recall recent events.

New research published in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, suggests that past the age 60, those who drink alcohol but do not abuse alcohol, may be improving their ability to recall recent events.

Researchers from the University of Texas, U. of Kentucky and U. of Maryland, studied the results of tests performed on 660 study participants to measure what they called “episodic memory”. Their data showed that those who drank alcohol had better scores than those who did not. It has been suggested that exposing the brain to alcohol may improve the release of brain chemicals involved with memory. They also compared physical measurements of an area of the brain called the hippocampus, which is thought to be involved with memory. And those who drank alcohol lightly and moderately, had a greater volume of their hippocampus than those who did not drink alcohol at all. This physical finding is consistent with animal research showing that moderate alcohol consumption may help to preserve the size of the hippocampus by aiding the production new nerve cells in that part of the brain.

Before anyone takes this study as a green light for alcohol consumption it is very important to know that chronic alcohol abuse has clearly been shown to promote cognitve dysfuntion and brain damage. Abusing alcohol which can be defined as having five or more alcoholic beverages at one sitting, has been shown to cause brain injury.

For the best in Integrative Medicine call Henry C. Sobo, M.D., at 203-348-8805 or write us at [email protected]

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