Drinking: Finding the Cognitive “Sweet Spot”

You have probably read that drinking alcohol has been associated with a reduction in cognitive decline and the risk of dementia.  But don’t go running to the saloon quite yet.

Heavy drinking has been shown to diminish memory by changing brain chemistry and causing vitamin B1 (thiamin) deficiency.  Uh oh.  In an April 2010 study of 145 seniors published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, excessive drinking harmed memory and other mental functions (especially in women).  However, moderate drinkers had higher test scores than non-drinkers and heavy drinkers.

The data is still insufficient to recommend mild alcohol use as a preventative to mental decay, but we felt you should be aware of what’s going on.


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