Shrink your brain by drinking to excess

Wednesday 15th October, 2008

Excessive boozing could shrink the size of your brain and the more your drink, the smaller your brain volume will be, according to new research.

The study carried out at Wellesley College in Massachusetts found that those who have more than a couple of glasses of wine per day run the risk of dementia later in life than those who don’t drink.

By consuming over 14 drinks a week, brain shrinkage through natural ageing speeds up further. The study found that people drinking more than two alcoholic drinks per day had brains that shrunk by a quarter more than a non-drinker.

Brain volume typically reduces with age with a reduction of 1.9% every ten years. As brain volume reduces, white matter lesions increase. White matter lesions are attributed with the onset of dementia and brain function that controls thought, learning and memory.

Moderate alcohol consumption has been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. As the cardiovascular system supplies the brain with blood, researchers suspect low levels of alcohol may also affect decline in brain volume that is age-related.

This latest study involved nearly 1,900 people with an average age of 60. The majority of participants reported consuming moderate alcoholic drinks and men were more likely to be moderate to heavy drinkers. The results showed a significant negative relationship between alcohol consumption and brain volume.

Researchers have suggested that alcohol does not have any protective effect on brain volume unlike the associations made with cardiovascular disease.



Find a local practitioner
Search Therapist

Do not copy from this page - plagiarism will be detected by Copyscape. If you want to use our content click here for syndication criteria