Wine (One Drink Per Day): for Delaying Mental Cognitive Impairment

Wine (One Drink Per Day): for Delaying Mental Cognitive Impairment

Depression is not a normal part of growing older, but it is common in adults age 65 and over. Retirement, health problems and the loss of loved ones are things that happen to older adults. Feeling sad at these times is normal.Abusing drugs or alcohol can also lead to depression. Some medical problems and medications can lead to depression.


Smoking and alcohol use are often associated with each other. Furthermore, smoking and drinking are often linked with depression. All three of these disorders are common for persons diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Continued depression, smoking, and alcohol use are likely to negatively affect health and survival.Excessive drinking can affect your nervous system, causing numbness of your hands and feet, disordered thinking and dementia.

In 1996, mental disorders were the main causes of disability burden,responsible for nearly 30% of total years of life lost to disability (YLD), with depression accounting for 8% of the total YLD. Ischaemic heart disease and stroke were the main contributors to the disease burden disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), together causing nearly 18% of the total disease burden. Risk factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, hypertension, high blood cholesterol, obesity and inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption were responsible for much of the overall disease burden in Australia.

Nervous system and sense disorders accounted for 16% of the disability burden, mainly resulting from dementia and hearing loss.Depression was the leading cause of non-fatal disease burden for both males and females, accounting for 8% of total YLD. Hearing loss and alcohol dependence were the second and third contributors for males; dementia and osteoarthritis for females.

Among older Australians (aged 65 years and over), ischaemic heart disease and stroke were the leading causes of disease burden, together accounting for 32% of the total disease burden, followed by dementia (7.2%), lung cancer (5.0%) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (4.9%). Hearing loss and benign prostate enlargement were among the top 10 causes of disease burden for older men, while vision loss and osteoarthritis were among the top 10 causes for older women.

Dementia is a mental disorder that includes memory impairment and at least one of the following: difficulty with language, impaired movement, and inability to plan and initiate appropriate behaviors socially or at work. Dementia usually occurs in elderly people. The two most common causes are Alzheimer's disease and vascular trauma, such as a number of small strokes, resulting in a lack of blood flow to the brain.Drug or alcohol abuse are the cause of dementia.

People who have had one head and neck cancer have a higher risk of developing a second cancer. Therefore, regular check ups with your doctor/nurse are important. In addition, refraining from smoking and heavy drinking alcohol can improve your health and, in many instances, reduce your chances of a second cancer. Tobacco and alcohol contribute to over 75% of head and neck cancers.Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and affects your thoughts, emotions and judgment. In sufficient amounts, alcohol impairs speech and muscle coordination. Too much alcohol can severely depress the vital centers of your brain. A heavy drinking binge may even cause a life-threatening coma.

Intellectual deficits and dementia: Long-term alcohol use is known to lead to deterioration in intellectual functioning. The deficits occur in abstracting ability, judgment, social behaviour, perception and memory. These deficits have been found to be correlated with structural changes in the brain detectable on CT and MRI scans. These deficits, as well as CT and MRI changes, have been found to be reversible with abstinence. Even in social drinkers, similar reversible intellectual deficits have been demonstrated. A more severe and manifest form of these intellectual deficits is called alcoholic dementia in which all meaningful intellectual and social functioning is lost.

Previous data suggested that habitual excess alcohol intake impairs the brain, but the effect of moderate consumption is unclear. A cognitive benefit from moderate alcohol intake is plausible, given the strong link between moderate alcohol intake and the decreased risk of cardiovascular disease; cognitive impairment and cardiovascular disease share common risk factors.The adverse effects of excess alcohol intake on cognitive function are well established, but the effect of moderate consumption is uncertain.

Each person with dementia experiences symptoms and progression differently. Consequently, the techniques to care for each person should vary.Try to determine the cause of wandering. It may simply be a signal that the person with dementia is looking for something, such as a bathroom, or is seeking a meaningful activity or reassurance. Some experts believe taking your loved one for a vigorous daily walk helps reduce wandering.

But recently researchers found interesting between light drinking and its positive effects.A positive relationship between alcohol consumption and blood pressure is well established, but the relative effect of specific alcoholic beverages is controversial.Red wine and beer appears to have a dual effect on blood vessels. The alcohol in it may raise blood pressure, but the polyphenolic compounds in red wine may have antioxidant effects and help relax blood vessels. There may be subtle differences between wine, beer and spirits on heart rate and other cardiovascular measurements.

People with mild cognitive impairment may slow their mental decline if they have up to one alcoholic drink a day, a new Italian study suggests.

Researchers followed 121 people with mild cognitive impairment and looked at the impact of their drinking habits, to see if moderate alcohol use might slow the progression to dementia. The participants were aged 65 to 84 at the study start and were followed for three and a half years.

Those who were cognitively impaired at the start of the study and had up to one alcoholic drink a day, typically wine, developed dementia at a 85 percent slower rate than those with cognitive impairment who abstained, the researchers reported.

The study results are published in the issue of Neurology.

Dr. Denis Evans, director of the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said that while the study is interesting, its value is limited by the small number of participants. "That is not saying the study is worthless at all," he said, just that more research needs to be done.

In a statement, study authors Dr. Vincenzo Solfrizzi and Dr. Francesco Panza, with the Department of Geriatrics at the University of Bari, said: "While many studies have assessed alcohol consumption and cognitive function in the elderly, this is the first study to look at how alcohol consumption affects the rate of progression of mild cognitive impairment to dementia."

Earlier studies have yielded mixed results about whether alcohol consumption helps cognitive function. Exactly how moderate alcohol intake might help thinking is not known. But Solfrizzi speculated that alcohol might somehow help keep the brain's blood vessels healthier. Some other research has found that alcohol increases the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which helps neurons communicate with each other.

The study participants were part of a larger study, called the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging, and were asked in 1992 about alcohol and food consumption. They were given a standard exam to evaluate their cognitive functioning. Then, the researchers zeroed in on the 121 people found to have mild cognitive impairment. They classified these people as "abstainers," "moderate" or "more than moderate" drinkers.

The link between alcohol and delayed mental decline was found only for those people who had less than a drink a day, not for those who drank more, the researchers said.

Of the 55 people who drank less than a drink a day, three progressed to dementia during the three-and-a-half year follow-up period. Six of the 23 abstainers went on to develop dementia. Three of the 22 who had one or two drinks a day developed dementia, while two of the 21 who had more than two drinks a day did.

People who drink moderately may be in better physical and mental shape to begin with, Evans suggested. "People who are drinking a glass of wine a day are not those who are very sick or those in bad shape," he said. "On average, the people who tend to consume a little alcohol every day are healthier than those who don't. It's a social thing.

Another study concluded that a drink or two a day may be associated with better cognitive function in women, according to a report from an ongoing study of New York City residents.Women who had up to two drinks a day scored about 20 percent higher on the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) than women who didn’t drink at all or who consumed less than one drink a week.

This study suggests that the relationship between alcohol and cognition was not mediated by large vessel atherosclerosis.The researchers said they were surprised by the lack of association between carotid plaque and alcohol consumption. Other research had suggested that alcohol consumption might slow the progression of plaque, the fatty material that builds up in arteries and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

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