July 20, 2012

Cognitive decline a risk for binge-drinking seniors

Posted Friday, July 20, 2012

According to two studies presented this week at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2012, moderate drinking and binge drinking among those over 65 increases the risk for cognitive decline and memory loss.

The eight-year study found that those 65 years and older who report binge drinking at least twice a month were two-and-a-half times more likely to suffer memory and cognitive decline. This is compared to similar-aged adults who do not binge on alcohol.

“It's not just how much you drink but the pattern of your drinking,” says lead author Iain Lang of the University of Exeter in England, according to USA Today. “Older people need to be aware, if they do binge-drink, of the risks and they should change their behaviors.”

For the study, binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in a sitting.

These findings come after a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report was recently released saying  one in six adults in the U.S. binge drink.

Also, in another study presented at the conference, researchers found moderate alcohol consumption has no protective properties in the mental functions of older women, regardless of earlier studies saying that moderate drinking of alcohol—such as red wine—may decrease the risk of dementia.

Click here to read the full story in USA Today.


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