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Moderate drinking linked to reduced risk of death for Alzheimer's disease

Moderate drinking linked to reduced risk of death for Alzheimer's disease
14th December 2015

A Danish study has shown that there is a link between levels of consumption of alcohol and the death of people with Alzheimer's disease, reports Alzheimer's Research UK.

The new study was published in the British Medical Journal Open on 10th December and was carried out to understand the impact of alcohol on people's mental health.

Researchers from Denmark followed just over 300 people in their seventies who were suffering from a mild case of Alzheimer's disease.

This alcohol study was part of a closer look at other impacts on those who have Alzheimer's disease, including how education and counselling might affect their quality of life, their memory and their day-to-day thinking skills.

To adequately track the results, researchers asked a family member of the study respondent to assess how much alcohol that particular volunteer consumed in an average day.

Results from this part of the study showed that of the 321 people who volunteered, 8 per cent didn't drink at all and 71 per cent had up to one unit per day.

Only 4 per cent of volunteers had more than 4 units per day of Dutch units, which record an extra 10 ml volume of alcohol over a British measure of alcohol and were the measurement used for this research project.

The study took place over three years and found that death rates slowed for those who drank a moderate amount, which records as 2-3 units per day in this particular study.

Controversially, death rates seemed to increase for Alzheimer's patients who drank one unit or less per day when compared with those who had a moderate alcohol intake.

Speaking on the study, Dr Laura Phipps from Alzheimer's Research UK said that despite what the results showed, they weren't conclusive as "it's difficult to tease apart cause and correlations, and factors such as general health, medication and previous drinking habits could also have an impact".

Regarding further study in this area, Dr Phipps said that it's desperately needed "to better understand how different levels of alcohol consumption affect the brain".

Find out more about Alzheimer's disease care at Barchester homes.