Don’t pickle old brains

Want to preserve your brain function into old age? Cut down on the booze.

That’s the conclusion of a large, longitudinal study just published in JAMA Psychiatry.

After comparing more than 200 alcohol dependent adults with a similar number of healthy adults, over a 14 year period, the US researchers concluded alcohol-dependence accelerated the cortical ageing process even if the alcohol habit developed later in life.

They found, through a series of MRIs that alcohol dependence (as per the DSM-IV criteria) resulted in more rapid frontal lobe deterioration than that which just occurred with age, regardless of gender. As part of the study the researchers also looked at whether comorbidities such as drug use or hepatitis C infection made a difference to the decline in cognitive ...

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