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Winos and beerocrats better watch out! Especially the middle aged ones!
A new study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that excess drinking of alcohol in one's middle aged period may lead to memory loss as they get older. In fact… it doubles the risk, according to the new study.
"Had they ever felt they should cut down on their drinking, had people annoyed them by criticizing their drinking, had they ever felt bad or guilty about their drinking, and had they ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady nerves or get rid of a hangover."
The results of these questions and the study itself made the lead researcher certify that this is a "public health issue that need to be addressed" as soon as possible! Because doubling one's chances of memory impairment later in life ain't no joke!
Here's what top researcher Dr. Iain Lang from the University of Exeter Medical School said:
"We already know there is an association between dementia risk and levels of current alcohol consumption - that understanding is based on asking older people how much they drink and then observing whether they develop problems. But this is only one part of the puzzle and we know little about the consequences of alcohol consumption earlier in life. What we did here is investigate the relatively unknown association between having a drinking problem at any point in life and experiencing problems with memory later in life. This finding - that middle-aged people with a history of problem drinking more than double their chances of memory impairment when they are older - suggests… that this is a public health issue that needs to be addressed."
Alzheimer’s Society's director of research and development Dr. Doug Brown though wants to emphasize that people don't need to stop drinking alcohol altogether. He even thinks "the odd glass of red wine could even help reduce your risk of developing dementia."
Here's what he said:
"When we talk about drinking too much, the media often focuses on young people ending up in A&E after a night out. However, there’s also a hidden cost of alcohol abuse given the mounting evidence that alcohol abuse can also impact on cognition later in life. This small study shows that people who admitted to alcohol abuse at some point in their lives were twice as likely to have severe memory problems, and as the research relied on self-reporting that number may be even higher. This isn’t to say that people need to abstain from alcohol altogether. As well as eating a healthy diet, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight, the odd glass of red wine could even help reduce your risk of developing dementia."
Alzheimer's Research UK's science director Dr. Eric Karran also points out that other factors may have "influenced" these study's findings. He said:
"One strength of this study is its long time period: as dementia develops slowly over a number of years it’s crucial to understand what factors could affect our risk of the condition earlier in life. Although studies such as this one can be very useful for observing health trends, it’s important to note that they are not able to show cause and effect, and it’s not clear whether other factors may also have influenced these results."
We definitely believe that this study's research should be taken with a grain of salt, and middle aged boozers need not panic.
But it's always a good idea to think about cutting down on the alcohol intake.
Those hangovers are NO fun and it may help you remember those beautiful memories of yours later on down the line!