Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Alcohol and brain shrinkage

Moderate consumption of alcohol is known to have a protective effect against heart disease but sadly it appears that it does not have a similar protective effect on the brain. A study of 1,839 adults by researchers at Wellesley College in the U.S. who had an average age of 60 used an MRI scan to measure the size and health of participants' brains. The participants were also asked how much alcohol they consumed per week, their age, sex, education, height, weight, body-mass index and stroke risk. The more alcohol people consumed the lower their brain volume; an effect which was more pronounced in women than men.

You can read more about this research at


1 comment:

drivenwide said...

The study is the latest cautionary note in the perplexing issue of whether moderate alcohol consumption is good for one's health. It raises the question of whether drinking may be good for the heart but not so good for the brain.Compared with the non-drinkers, all of the groups had progressively greater amounts of decreased brain volume, with the biggest decrease in the heavy drinkers. The heavy drinking group had a 1.25% decrease in brain volume. Brain volume decreases somewhat as people age. A loss of 1.25% is approximately equivalent to one to two years of normal aging.
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