Heavy Drinking May Increase Alzheimer’s Risk

By Staff Writer

Most people are familiar with the short-term cognitive side effects of alcohol consumption. However, a new study from Finnish researchers has shown that failure to seek substance abuse help for alcohol consumption could have long-term neurological implications.

A team of investigators from the University of Turku, the University of Helsinki and the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland found that individuals who consume large amounts of alcohol are more likely to suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

For the study, researchers tracked the medical records of a group of participants for a period of 20 years. In addition to showing that heavy excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of cognitive impairment, their study also showed that those who totally abstain from drinking also risk poor brain health. Only moderate levels of consumption were tied to neutral risk.

Drinking patterns were also shown to affect risk. Individuals who reported even one instance of blacking out from drinking or consuming a full bottle of wine in one sitting were at greater risk of cognitive decline.