Moderate consumption of alcohol reduces the risk of developing dementia; on the contrary, drinking too much or nothing could increase the odds. The observational study of researchers opens new reflections on dementia which, with the increase in life expectancy, seems to be an increasingly concrete problem.

To reduce dementia risk it seems it is better to drink alcohol moderately than to not drink at all or drink a lot. The particular confirmation comes from researchers who obviously say that this is just an observational study that may not take into account some variables that can change the results.

The study. To reach their conclusions, the researchers analyzed data on 9,087 people aged 35 to 55 collecting information on alcohol consumption and dependence over the course of 20 years, as well as social-demographic and lifestyle information and state of health. According to the analysis, the researchers note that among the participants, 397 developed dementia towards the average age of 76 years.

Consumption of alcohol. The researchers, entering into the detail of the consumption of alcohol, explain that they discovered that people who do not drink alcohol or those who consumed more than 14 units of alcohol per week, were more likely to develop dementia than those who drank between 1 and 14 units. A unit of alcohol corresponds to: 12 grams of ethanol, then either a small glass (125 ml) of medium strength wine, or a medium strength beer bottle (330 ml) or a spirits (40 ml). Specifically, they explain that for every 7 units of alcohol per week, the risk of developing dementia increases by 17%.

Conclusions, let's be careful. What researchers found is not an invitation to drink 10 beers a week, it is only an observational study that could open new insights on the study of dementia that, with the increase in general life expectancy, seems to be strongly increasing: the number of dementia patients should triple by 2050. As for why alcohol has these effects on the brain, experts do not say much because it is not clear. In any case, the advice is always to not drink too much alcohol because, in addition to risk dementia, this behaviour increases the chances of developing other diseases.