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binge drinking in seniors, dementia

Dementia in older individuals and binge drinking may be linked according to a new research study. Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry University of Exeter has recently completed a research study into this link, and the findings were made available in Vancouver when the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2012 was held. So far there has been very little research in whether binge drinking can lead to an increased risk of dementia, and this caused researchers to set up the study and determine whether there is a possible link between these two. The study leader was Dr. Iain Lang, and the data used included information from more than 5,000 research subjects.




According to Dr. Lang “We know binge drinking can be harmful: it can increase the risk of harm to the cardiovascular system, including the chance of developing heart disease; and it is related to an increased risk of both intentional and unintentional injuries. However, until we conducted our study it was not clear what the effect was of binge drinking on cognitive function and the risk of developing dementia.” The study results showed that binge drinking greatly increases the risk of developing dementia. Dr. Lamg went on to say “This research has a number of implications. First, older people – and their doctors – should be aware that binge drinking may increase their risk of experiencing cognitive decline and encouraged to change their drinking behaviors accordingly. Second, policymakers and public health specialists should know that binge drinking is not just a problem among adolescents and younger adults. We have to start thinking about older people when we are planning interventions to reduce binge drinking.”