Study: Having 8-14 Alcoholic Drinks a Week in Middle Age May Prevent Dementia

A six-year study of 3,069 people age 75 and older has found that people who consume moderate amounts of alcohol in middle age have a lower risk of developing dementia, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported Monday.

Specifically, researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, found that people who drank moderately -- eight to 14 drinks per week -- were 37 percent less likely to develop dementia, compared with those who did not drink at all. It did not matter what type of alcohol they drank, the newspaper reported on its Web site.

The risk decrease is similar to the benefit of exercising at least three times a week, said senior author Kaycee Sink, a geriatrician at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. The findings will be presented Monday at an Alzheimer's Association conference in Vienna, Austria.

Moderation appears to be the key, however.

This is because study also found that drinking more than 14 drinks a week nearly doubles the chances of developing dementia and other Alzheimer’s related symptoms, the researchers warned.

Click here for more on this story from the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.