As an educator and advocate of dementia issues, I am always keeping my eye out for research on the topic.
I find scientific advancement regarding prevention as most significant. Mostly, because dementia is incurable and degenerative. Therefore, our best hope, at least for now, it to study and research what we can do to prevent this disease.
Findings from a study conducted by the University of California, San Diego, suggest that regular wine drinking in moderation might help prevent dementia and other cognitive disorders.
At the same time, there have been studies showing links between wine and dementia. Just months prior to the release of this study, another one found that both moderate and heavy drinkers had higher risk of developing brain diseases, like Alzheimer’s.
These inconsistent results can be frustrating, but the study pointed out that moderate consumption led to inconsistent results whereas light-to-moderate drinking has been associated with a lower risk of dementia.
There’s more hope. In a long-term study that followed 1,300 older adults for 29 years, results are showing promise. It found that alcohol consumption is not only associated with reduced mortality, but with improved chances of retaining cognitive health. The study measured the subjects’ mental capacity every four years with the Mini Mental State Examination, a standard screening test for dementia.
The study emphasized, however, that the results do not suggest drinking is directly responsible for better overall physical and mental health. But, it may not hurt if done in moderation – as we’ve always been told.