Heavy Alcohol Consumption Linked to Memory Loss

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The lead author of a new study, Severine Sabia and his fellow researchers studied data about 7,000 men and women that were in their 50s in an attempt to find the impact of alcohol consumption on the brain aging prior to old age.

The researchers discovered that men who were middle-aged and consumed over 2.5 drinks that were alcoholic each day were more prone to earlier memory loss as well as a decline in cognitive function as much as six years earlier than men who either drank less or not at all.

However, the effects of alcohol consumption in women were not able to be accurately assessed due to there not being a sufficient amount of female participants.

Ten years before the study started, the participant’s alcohol consumption was assessed three times. Over the course of the study, the decision-making and memory skills of the participants were tested on three occasions. The first was completed when the participants had an average age of fifty-six.

A person’s decision-making, memory or executive skills are what are responsible for his or her reasoning and attention skills.

Following the study, researchers found there was no difference in cognitive function between men who drank alcohol moderately and with the men who did not consume alcohol. However, a decline mentally of as much as six years sooner was noted in men who consumed alcohol heavily.

According to health guidelines for diets in the U.S. moderate consumption of alcohol is consuming one alcoholic drink each day for women and as many as two per day for men. The definition refers to the amount that is consumed on a single day and not intended as an average over a period of several days.

The study included 5,054 males and 2,099 females who took part in an ongoing study of civil servants in Britain referred to as Whitehall II.

An alcoholic drink was considered liquor, wine or beer. The study started with a test on executive and memory and then the same tests were performed twice more over the ten year your life of the study.

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