A new study has been published in the journal of Neurology that confirms that men who drink more than 36 grams of alcohol, will speed up their memory loss up to six years later on.
The research involved approximately 5,054 men and 2,099 women who were followed over a period of ten years and whose drinking habits were assessed three times yearly. The qualifying criteria of a drink was considered to be wine, beer or or liquor. Executive and memory function was tested from the age of 56 and the tests were repeated twice yearly.
“Much of the research evidence about drinking and a relationship to memory and executive function is based on older populations,” said study author Séverine Sabia, PhD, of the University College London in the United Kingdom. “Our study focused on middle-aged participants and suggests that heavy drinking is associated with faster decline in all areas of cognitive function in men.”
The findings reveal that there were no differences in memory and executive function decline between men who did not drink and those who were light or moderate drinkers—those who drank less than 20 grams, or less than two US drinks per day. This is in comparison to heavy drinkers who revealed that memory and executive function declines between one-and-a-half to six years faster than those who had fewer drinks per day.
S. Sabia, A. Elbaz, A. Britton, S. Bell, A. Dugravot, M. Shipley, M. Kivimaki, A. Singh-Manoux. Alcohol consumption and cognitive decline in early old age. Neurology, 2014; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000063