Changes in Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Dementia in a Nationwide Cohort in South Korea Neurology

In addition, we examined whether cardiometabolic disease modifies the association between alcohol consumption and dementia. Guidelines published by NICE in 2015 recommend that alcohol consumption be reduced as much as possible, particularly in mid-life, to minimize the risk of developing other age-related conditions such as frailty. Current evidence indicates that adopting a healthy lifestyle throughout your life is the best way to reduce risk of dementia and other long-term health problems. This includes drinking in moderation but also other factors such as not smoking, taking plenty of physical exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet. Excessive alcohol consumption over a lengthy time period can lead to brain damage, and may increase your risk of developing dementia. However, drinking alcohol in moderation has not been conclusively linked to an increased dementia risk, nor has it been shown to offer significant protection against developing dementia.

  • Alcoholic dementia is difficult to differentially diagnose from other forms of dementia due to the overlapping symptoms, as well as a lack of awareness of the dangers of drinking habits [23].
  • Drinking slows reaction times and coordination, and interferes with eye movement and information processing.
  • One such study has shown no evidence for a protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption on the development of dementia although we will need to see the results of further studies that make this distinction before we can fully understand this relationship.
  • It is important that future research differentiates between lifetime non-drinkers and individuals who have given up drinking for health reasons to clarify these findings.

The alcoholic dementia symptoms are varied, and this health condition can be influenced by two important factors such as Wernicke’s encephalopathy and the Korsakoff syndrome. While it seems as though drinking any type of alcohol in moderation may be more effective in terms of reducing your dementia risk than abstaining completely, wine may be your best bet in terms of staying cognitively fit. Sometimes, nutritional supplementation can help prevent the progression of this type of dementia. Additionally, stopping alcohol use is a key factor in preventing additional damage that causes worsening of alcoholic dementia. It can be dangerous to stop alcohol abruptly, and it’s safer to go through alcohol detoxification under medical supervision. You may also find value in joining a support group for people who are living with alcoholic dementia or for caregivers so that you can meet with others who are coping with the same life stressors as you are.

Cross-Sectional Studies

Staying alcohol-free can be particularly challenging if the person is homeless or isolated from their family due to drinking too much, or if they have poor physical or mental health. Dealing with all these issues is important for helping the person to stay alcohol-free, and to reduce the symptoms of alcohol-related ‘dementia’. The purpose of this review is to give an overview about the dose- and pattern-related effects of alcohol on the risk of developing dementia, while trying to differentiate different neurodegenerative, vascular and other forms of dementia. The first part of the review will give an overview about alcohol effects on the central nervous system and summarize findings with different methodological approaches (biochemical methods, histopathological findings, animal models, neuroimaging). In the second part, we will present the results of a systematic literature search we conducted. We will then address the question whether alcohol consumption constitutes a potential target for dementia prevention.

Most prospective cohort studies have follow-up periods of two to three years (see Table 2). Due to the adverse effects on other organ systems22 and higher mortality of alcohol-consuming individuals, these subjects may decease in-between intervals (attrition bias). Long-term, excessive alcohol use can cause permanent damage to the brain, which can lead to Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption increases a person’s risk of AD by 300%. This article discusses the link between moderate and excessive alcohol consumption and AD and the risks of other conditions. Thiamine deficiency is common among people with alcohol use disorder, which is a problem because nerve cells require thiamine to function properly.

Trajectories of alcohol consumption between midlife and early old age

A study published in The BMJ followed 9,087 participants, who were between 35 and 55 years old at the beginning of the study, over the course of 23 years. The results will help determine whether you or your loved one has AUD, dementia, or both.

Wernicke’s encephalopathy is a health condition encountered in patients who lack a certain substance called thiamine. The thiamine deficiency is usually caused by excessive drinking as well as vomiting. If one abuses alcohol regularly, the body’s thiamine stores will get depleted fast.

Moderate drinking and AD

He has a nursing and business/technology degrees from The Johns Hopkins University. Drugs impair cognition via metabolic effects or synapse interferences, as well as crossing the blood brain barrier, mimicking the effects of alcoholic dementia [48]. As well as analysing symptoms of alcohol related dementia, doctors will perform tests to analyse memory and thinking skills after a period of abstaining from alcohol [42]. A case study published in 2013 by Boot et al found that those with a history of anxiety and depression have been shown to result in a greater likelihood of developing alcohol related dementia, as well as having a family history of Parkinson’s disease [37].