Moderate alcohol consumption could boost your memory

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Some might assume that alcohol can cause memory loss but new research shows that if you're over the age of 60, alcohol can actually help sustain memory.

Published in the journal Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, research has revealed that responsible alcohol consumption in later life is associated with ‘episodic memory’ and a larger hippocampus; the area of the brain that controls memory.

In the recent study, 660 patients completed surveys on their alcohol consumption and general demographics and were assessed on their neuropsychological state - establishing whether they had any risk of developing Alzheimer’s as well as having an MRI scan.

More: The new alzheimer's breakthrough

Ultimately this means that people over 60 who enjoy light or moderate alcohol have a better ability to recall memories or events compared to those who abstain from alcohol. This bizarre benefit is thought to be the result of the alcohol’s hidden talent in generating new nerve cells in the brain.

It is not the first study that has indicated a link between memory and alcohol consumption. In 2009 a US study found that individuals who consumed between eight and 14 drinks a week were 37% less likely to develop dementia than the general population.

More: How to reduce your alzheimer's risk

While alcohol can be beneficial to your memory, it won’t make you smarter says Dr Brian Downer. The leading medical author says, “There was no significant differences in cognitive functioning and regional brain volumes” that could be attributed to alcohol.

Still debating over that second glass of Sauvignon Blanc tonight? We’ve just given you two great excuses – just sip in moderation.


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