Monday, April 8, 2024
HomeAlzheimerDoes Drinking Cause Alzheimer's

Does Drinking Cause Alzheimer’s

Signs & Symptoms Of Dementia

Is alcohol the leading cause of dementia?

The symptoms arent exactly the same for everyone, and not all types of dementia have the same symptoms.4 However, some of the more common signs and symptoms of dementia include:3,4,5,8,9

  • Asking the same questions.
  • Trouble speaking or reading and writing.
  • Unusual visual changes not attributed to aging.

Is There Treatment Available

At an early stage of the disease, problems may be reduced or reversed if the person abstains from alcohol, improves their diet and replace vitamins especially thiamine and vitamin B1. Thiamine is important to limit some of the toxic effects of alcohol, and is an important supplement for heavy drinkers.

Community support is available for the person with dementia, their family and carers. This support can make a positive difference to managing dementia.

Many people who develop alcohol related dementia are young, and this can mean that they and their family and carers will need extra consideration. It may be helpful to talk to a counsellor at Dementia Australia. Contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

Dementia And Alcohol Is There A Connection

Most people associate dementia and diseases like Alzheimers with ageing. But the association between dementia and heavy long-term alcohol use is less known.1

Dementia refers to a range of symptoms and diseases that affect brain function. Its the second leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease.2

The causes of dementia are not fully known. However, ageing, smoking, high cholesterol and blood pressure, poor diet, cardiovascular disease and diabetes all increase your risk.1

Heavy and frequent alcohol use can cause many chronic health conditions, including Alzheimers disease, cancers, heart disease and diabetes. It can also cause alcohol-related dementia.3

You May Like: Can Head Trauma Cause Dementia

What Should I Take Away From This Research

The link between alcohol and dementia in non-drinkers however is not fully understood and individuals who do not currently drink alcohol should not start as a method of protection against the development of dementia.

From the evidence collected to date, it is not possible to determine what effect drinking within the NHS recommended alcohol guidelines has on a person’s risk of dementia.

Guidelines recommend that alcohol consumption be reduced as much as possible, particularly in mid-life, to minimize the risk of developing other age-related conditions such as frailty. Current evidence indicates that adopting a healthy lifestyle throughout your life is the best way to reduce risk of dementia and other long-term health problems. This includes drinking in moderation but also other factors such as not smoking, taking plenty of physical exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Think this page could be useful to someone? Share it:Think this page could be useful to someone? Share it:.

When Could Drinking Be Problematic

Drink THIS to Lower Your Alzheimers Risk!

Some people may feel they cant control their drinking, have negative feelings when they dont drink, or believe that their alcohol consumption is negatively impacting their life. These may be signs of alcohol use disorder. If you one feel as though you cant limit how much you drink or you continue drinking even if its hurting you or others, its time to talk to the doctor. Your health care team is your best resource for getting medical advice when it comes to limiting the negative effects alcohol may have on your health and well-being.

Don’t Miss: Is Hallucinations Common In Dementia

Can A Person With Alzheimers Drink Alcohol

The short answer is: No. According to an article published in July 2012 by CNN, alcohol and Alzheimerâs donât mix.

Although the article goes on to state that the effects of alcohol on a person with Alzheimerâs arenât completely understood new studies have found that binge drinking once a month of a person with Alzheimerâs can lead to a 62% decline in cognitive function.

Add to that fact the possibility that they wonât remember how many drinks they have had or what reactions they might experience because of medication interactions, and you have a recipe for potential disaster. One must also bear in mind that Alzheimerâs engenders confusion. Alcoholâs ability to further impair awareness and perception could exacerbate an already bad situation.

Beth Kallmyer, the vice president of constituent services at the Alzheimerâs Association, suggests that if a person with Alzheimerâs asks for a drink, caretakers should try distractions to keep them occupied so that they forget about their request. They certainly do not need to be intoxicated.


Southern Illinoisan , Jan. 1, 2002, p 13.

Annemieke Ruitenberg, John C van Swieten, Jacqueline Witteman, Kala Mehta, Cornelia van Duijn, Albert Hofman, and Monique Breteler, âAlcohol Consumption and Risk of Dementia: The Rotterdam Study,â Lancet, vol. 359, no. 9303, Jan. 26, 2002, pp. 281-286, < > .

Alcohol Intake Linked To Dementia Risk

27 September 2019

Researchers in the US have revealed that alcohol intake in later life is linked with dementia risk. Their findings are published today in the journal JAMA.

The research team looked at over 3000 people living in the US. The study participants were over the age of 72 and didnt have dementia at the beginning of the study. Participants recorded the amount of alcohol they drank and completed memory and thinking tests. The researchers then followed volunteers over several years to see if they went on to develop dementia.

The researchers found that people who abstained from drinking were at increased risk of dementia. Those who drank more than 14 alcoholic drinks per week also increased their dementia risk.

Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimers Research UK, said:Theres a well-established link between heavy drinking and the risk of dementia, but it is difficult to say whether moderate alcohol intake has any impact on brain health when compared to not drinking at all.

Some non-drinkers may have a history of heavy alcohol use, and this makes it difficult to untangle links between drinking habits and health.

This study only looked at peoples drinking in later life, and we dont know about their drinking habits in their earlier years. Research suggests that our lifestyle in middle age may have the greatest impact on our future risk of dementia.

You May Like: How Long Can Someone Live With Severe Dementia

The Dangers Of Alcohol

As pleasant as it is to hear that sharing a drink with a friend can decrease your chances of developing Alzheimers disease, we need to acknowledge the significant dangers of regularly over-consuming alcohol. Over-consumption is defined as consuming 4 drinks for men and 3 drinks for women in a single day.

A recent study examined more than thirty-million Europeans to identify the largest factors determining whether an individual develops Alzheimers or dementia. The study found that alcohol was the largest non-genetic risk factor for dementia and Alzheimers disease.

The researchers were shocked at how significantly alcohol contributed. We hypothesized that alcohol would play some role, but I dont think anyone expected the size of the effect to be so large, said lead author Dr. Jürgen Rehm.

The study found that individuals who regularly over-consumed were three times more likely to develop a dementia as those who did not. Over-consumption of alcohol was especially common in study participants diagnosed with early-onset dementia or Alzheimers disease. Early-onset is defined as being diagnosed before the age of 65.

While frequently drinking to excess has been known to have a wide range of negative, this new research shows that the damage caused by alcohol is much more common and much more severe than previously imagined.

The Bottom Line For Alcohol And Alzheimers: Binge Drinking Is Never Good For Brain Health

Alcohol & Alzheimer’s Dementia Risk: Does Moderate Drinking Help Or Hurt?

It is important to point out that there were very few individuals in our study who drank to excess, so our study does not show how excessive or binge-type drinking may affect longevity and cognitive health in aging, McEvoy said. Long-term excessive alcohol intake is known to cause alcohol-related dementia.

Still, the new study may help you justify winding down your day with an ice cold beer or a glass of wine on occasionas long as you dont have other health problems.

This study shows that moderate drinking may be part of a healthy lifestyle to maintain cognitive fitness in aging, said lead author Erin Richard, a graduate student in the Joint San Diego State University/UC San Diego Doctoral Program in Public Health. However, it is not a recommendation for everyone to drink. Some people have health problems that are made worse by alcohol, and others cannot limit their drinking to only a glass or two per day. For these people, drinking can have negative consequences.

You May Like: What Foods To Eat For Dementia

What Is Moderate Alcohol Consumption

These reviews typically defined moderate alcohol consumption as 1-14 units of alcohol per week for women and 1-21 units a week for men. NHS guidelines published in 2016 state that both men and women should limit their intake to 14 units a week. A unit is dependent on the amount of pure alcohol in a given volume and can be calculated for specific drinks here. According to the NHS, a basic guideline for units of alcohol is as follows:

  • A typical glass of wine: 2 units
  • A pint of lower alcohol beer or cider: 2 units
  • A pint of higher alcohol beer or cider: 3 units
  • A single shot of spirits such as whisky, gin or vodka : 1 unit

Does The Type Of Alcohol Matter

It depends on whom you ask. Research has come to different conclusions about this question. Multiple studies have cited wine as specifically having protective effects on people’s memory and cognitive ability. Other studies, however, have concluded that wine, beer, and liquor all have similar effects on cognition.

Read Also: How To Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease Naturally

Drinking Soda Tied To Poor Brain Health And Alzheimers Risk

Two new studies link soda consumption to early signs of Alzheimers disease and poor brain health. Although the studies do not prove cause and effect, they suggest that drinking sodas whether they are sugar sweetened or diet may be linked to accelerated brain aging and an increased risk of Alzheimers or other forms of dementia.

One study, in the journal Alzheimers and Dementia, looked at more than 4,000 middle-aged adults. They were given brain scans and memory tests and filled out detailed questionnaires about what they ate and drank.

The researchers, from Boston University and other research centers, found that the more sugary sodas someone regularly drank, the worse they tended to do on memory tests.Those who drank the most sugary drinks also tended to have more shrinkage of the brain. In other studies, reduced brain volume has been tied to an increased risk of developing Alzheimers disease years later.

Those who drank one or two sugary sodas a day had shrinkage of the brain that corresponded to one to two years of aging compared with those who didnt drink sugary sodas or other sugar-sweetened beverages. They also tended to do worse on memory tests, scoring about the same as someone five or six years older. A typical can of sugar-sweetened soda or similarly sweetened beverage contains up to 10 teaspoons of sugar, or about 150 calories.

What Can Happen If A Person Drinks Too Much Alcohol On A Regular Basis

What Is Dementia?

If a person regularly drinks much more than the recommended limit of alcohol, it can damage their brain. It causes their memory and ability to think clearly to get worse over time, especially if the person drinks too much over many years.

This is known as alcohol-related brain damage or alcohol-related brain injury . Some people with ARBD will only have small changes to their thinking and memory, known as mild cognitive impairment . They are at risk of more serious brain damage unless they stop drinking.

Other people with ARBD will have more serious problems with their memory and thinking. Alcohol-related dementia or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome will cause them to struggle with day-to-day tasks. This is similar to someone living with dementia, such as Alzheimers disease.

Don’t Miss: What Is The Main Cause Of Vascular Dementia

Scope Of The Systematic Search

Following the PRISMA guidelines , a systematic search was performed by using OVID to identify all systematic reviews published from January 2000 to October 2017 on Medline, Embase, and PsycINFO and by using a combination of keywords and Medical Subject Headings terms related to alcohol use, dementia, AD, brain function, memory, and cognitive health. Additional file : Tables S1 to S3 in the Additional file outline the exact search strategy used for each database a PRISMA checklist is also provided in the Additional file . The World Alzheimer Reports were additionally used to identify potential systematic reviews . A systematic search of grey literature was performed via Google but provided no contributions which fulfilled our inclusion criteria . It is highly unlikely that systematic reviews and meta-analyses would not be published in scientific journals .

Majority Reported Passing Out From Drinking

Scientists examined seven European cohort studies from the U.K., France, Sweden, and Finland to include 131,415 people.

The participants, aged between 18 and 77 years, werent diagnosed with dementia during the years when they reported their alcohol consumption .

At follow-up, an average of 14 years later, they were examined for symptoms of dementia.

Over 96,000 people in this group reported passing out due to alcohol. Of these, over 10,000 reported having lost consciousness from drinking in the past year.

Binge drinking tends to be most problematic among college aged youth and young adults, Dr. Scott Krakower, unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, New York, told Healthline.

The moderate drinkers who hadnt passed out while drinking were used as the reference group. Compared with other participants, those who reported alcohol-induced loss of consciousness were more likely to drink hard liquor and beer, rather than wine.

After excluding participants with early or late onset Alzheimers, and cardiovascular conditions to find risk of cognitive impairment, the study authors concluded, The findings of this study suggest that alcohol-induced loss of consciousness, irrespective of overall alcohol consumption, is associated with a subsequent increase in the risk of dementia.

Recommended Reading: Is Alzheimers More Common In Men Or Women

The Link Between Alcohol And The Disease

Dr. Douglas Feinstein, professor of anesthesiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and lead study author, explained that the results of the study suggested that alcohol inhibits the ability of microglia to efficiently clear amyloid from the brain which he believes may contribute to a higher risk for developing Alzheimers.

There is a large literature supporting the idea that low amounts of alcohol can be beneficial not only peripherally, but in the brain. However, it might be prudent that if someone is at risk to develop Alzheimers, they should consider reducing their intake and certainly avoid binge or heavy drinking, said Feinstein.

Dr. David Reynolds, the chief scientific officer at Alzheimers Research UK, stated in an interview with Newsweek Magazine that it is hard to determine what level of consumption begins to affect the long-term health of the brain, but there is strong evidence that regular, heavy drinking increases the risk of dementia.

The study has revealed some groundbreaking evidence about alcohol use and the risk of Alzheimers, but more studies are needed so that conclusive evidence about the effects of consumption on the brain can be gathered. Dr. James A. Hendrix, the director of global science initiatives at the Alzheimers Association, commented that although the rat study results were interesting, the study involved very preliminary work.

Related Articles:

Associations Between Alcohol Use And The Incidence Of Cognitive Impairment/dementia Including Dose

Did You Know, Overconsumption of Alcohol can lead to dementia? | Apollo Hospitals

The systematic reviews published after 2000 which studied the associations between alcohol use and the incidence of cognitive impairment or dementia were often coupled with meta-analytic summaries, typically based on cohort studies which primarily measured the effect of other modifiable risk factors, usually measured at baseline , on the hazard or risk of being diagnosed with cognitive impairment or dementia or dying from dementia. See Table for a summary of these reviews.

The majority of these systematic reviews indicated that there was a statistically significant association between light to moderate alcohol use and a lower risk of being diagnosed with cognitive impairment and different types of dementia and dying from dementia. However, two systematic reviews found inconsistent results . Furthermore, chronic heavy alcohol use was associated with an increased risk of being diagnosed with either cognitive impairment or dementia. There also was an association found between engaging in irregular heavy drinking and the risk of being diagnosed with either cognitive impairment or dementia . In several reviews , the potential of an interaction between alcohol use and the presence or absence of the apolipoprotein E 4 allele and the resulting risk of either cognitive impairment or dementia was also examined, albeit based on a limited number of studies with substantial heterogeneity .

You May Like: Can Intermittent Fasting Help Dementia

> > > Root Cause For Alzheimer And Dementia Found

A healthy diet can be a great memory loss remedy. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as low-fat proteins such as nuts and seeds. Drinking plenty of water is also beneficial. The environment and personal experiences can affect the way your brain stores information, and this can lead to memory loss. There are many other causes of temporary memory loss, and it is important to get help as soon as possible. You should consult a medical professional to determine what the best treatment will be for your particular situation. Does Drinking Cause Alzheimers

A healthy diet is another effective memory loss remedy. A healthy diet should include plenty of vegetables and fruits. A healthy diet is a key component in memory improvement. This is the best way to prevent memory loss. The best way to do this is to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily routine. If you cant eat fruits and vegetables, you should avoid them altogether. They are packed with antioxidants that can help your brain.


Most Popular