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Men who drink more than 2.5 drinks a day speed loss by 6 years, study says

BOSTON —A new British study finds middle-aged men who drink more than two-and-a-half alcoholic beverages a day may speed their memory loss by as many as six years.

Dr. James leverenz did not take part in the study but treats dementia at cleveland clinic and is the director at the lou ruvo center for brain health.

“This is what we call an association study. So, they see these associations, it’s not clear if these are cause and effect or just an association related to some other aspect that is common in these heavier drinking men,” said Dr. James Leverenz, of the Cleveland Clinic.

Researchers at University College London studied more than 5,000 men and nearly 2,100 women. Their average age was 56.

They found no differences in memory and executive function among men who did not drink, or drank less than two alcoholic beverages per day.

But heavy drinking men showed declines between one-and-a-half to six years faster than the light drinkers.

They did not find similar results in women; in fact, they found women who drank less saw more cognitive decline during the same period of time.

Researchers say previous research on the relationship between drinking and memory loss was done on older populations, not middle-aged people, so more studies are needed.

Levernez says the findings, if nothing else, remind us all to drink in moderation.

“I think it does argue that, perhaps, we should all be careful as we drink,” he said.

Complete findings for the study are available in the online issue of “Neurology.”


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