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Alcohol And Alzheimer’s: Study Finds Possible Benefit To Moderate Daily Consumption

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According to new research, those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may benefit from drinking a “moderate” — two to three drinks — amount of alcohol on a daily basis.

The researchers, whose findings were published online in the journal BMJ Open, surveyed 321 people in the early stage of Alzheimer’s progression and found that the death risk dropped 77 percent for those who drank a moderate amount of alcohol in comparison to those who only had one or less drinks a day.

While the researchers warned that the study’s findings are by no means conclusive, they did note that the results “point towards a potential, positive association of moderate alcohol consumption on mortality in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.”

The research was conducted by the Danish Alzheimer’s Intervention Study.

Based on NHS guidelines, women shouldn’t have more than two to three units a day and men should refrain from exceeding four. A single shot of liquor contains one unit while a pint of beer contains over two.

Based solely on the study, a spokesperson for the researchers noted that they cannot “encourage or advise against moderate alcohol consumption” in AD patients.

The researchers noted that one potential factor to consider in why their research showed a lower mortality risk for moderate drinkers is social network, as those consuming moderate amounts of alcohol could have richer social lives.

The study found that early stage AD patients who consumed 2 to 3 drinks a day were 71 percent more likely to find themselves alive 36 months down the road than those who reported to be occasional drinkers.

Between patients surveyed who didn’t drink any alcohol and those who had more than three drinks a day, the researchers noted no significant difference in mortality rate.

An unrelated study conducted by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found a link between daily alcohol consumption and cancer.

In other news, a recent Alzheimer’s breakthrough may harbor the potential to lead to treatment.

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