Excessive Alcohol Consumption Can Increase Cognitive Decline Risk, Study Finds

Many people are conscious of the implications drinking alcohol has on your health. How many drinks are excessive, and how many do you need to raise your risk of cognitive decline?

The study evaluated over 20,000 individuals 

According to a new study in the United Kingdom, that examined data from more than 20,000 individuals, as few as four alcoholic drinks per week are linked to brain abnormalities that are linked to cognitive loss. The study is the first piece of literature to link moderate alcohol use and higher brain iron levels.

In a recent study, “Associations between moderate alcohol consumption, brain iron, and cognition in UK Biobank participants: Observational and mendelian randomization analyses,” published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Medicine, it was discovered that as few as four alcoholic beverages per week could cause brain damage connected to cognitive decline. For the first time, a study linked moderate alcohol use to higher brain iron levels.

The idea that alcohol has a bad effect on a person’s health is not new. It’s uncertain how harmful it might be to a person, though. Numerous studies have recently begun shining a light on alcohol’s harmful consequences, which range from increasing a person’s likelihood of developing cancer to inflicting structural injury to the brain.

The study evaluated how drinking affects the brain

The focus of the current study has been on how drinking alcohol affects the brain. The researchers set out to explore how alcohol can lead to cognitive impairment in light of earlier studies associating alcohol usage with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Self-reported alcohol use was connected to MRI-measured brain iron levels. Over seven standard drink units per week were associated with higher iron levels within the brain, particularly in the basal ganglia.

According to Anya Topiwala, study co-author, the UK Biobank research also assessed cognitive capacities and found that worse executive function, slow response times, and low fluid intelligence may be connected to elevated iron levels in the basal ganglia. According to NewAtlas, the most recent discoveries present plausible processes between cognitive deterioration and alcohol use.

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