Dementia

Cognitive function is an intellectual process by which we become aware of, perceive, or comprehend ideas. It involves all aspects of perception, thinking, reasoning, and remembering.Infanthood and early childhood are the periods in life where most individuals are able to absorb and use new information the best. The capacity to learn normally slows down with age, but the overall cognitive function should not decline on a large scale in healthy individuals. Cognitive dysfunction is defined as an unusually poor mental function associated with confusion, forgetfulness and difficulty to concentrate. Factors such as ageing and disease may affect cognitive function over time. Growing evidence supports the role of vascular disease and vascular risk factors in cognitive decline, Alzheimer's Disease and dementia.

 

Dementia is a form of cognitive impairment where an individual loses the ability to think, remember and reason due to physical changes in the brain. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a form of dementia. AD and other types of dementia are most common in the elderly, and are associated with huge health costs. With a rapidly aging population throughout the world, factors that affect the risk of cognitive decline and dementia are of great importance. Recently, insulin resistance and hyperinsulineamia, the precursors of type 2 diabetes have been linked to an increased risk of cognitive impairment.

 

The moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages has consistently been associated with a decreased cardiovascular risk, so it may be hypothesized that this cardiovascular protection could also decrease vascular dementia and cognitive decline because alcohol might improve blood flow in the brain and prevent the deposit of plaques . Even though chronic abuse of alcoholic beverages can cause progressive neurodegenerative disease, many studies have suggested that a moderate intake is associated with a lower risk of dementia or cognitive impairment.

 

At present, there are no proven pharmaceutical drugs and therapies to prevent or treat cognitive decline or dementia, although a number of prospective epidemiologic studies have shown a lower risk of such conditions among light to moderate drinkers of wine and other alcoholic beverages in comparison with non-drinkers.  When the effect of different alcoholic beverages was examined, the results indicated that only moderate wine consumption was independently associated with better performance on all cognitive tests in both men and women. 

In the literature, there are many mechanisms proposed to explain these results. Wine may affect the risk factors for ischemic processes and stroke positively. It has been suggested that the antioxidant properties of the phenolic compounds in wine may help to prevent the oxidative damage implicated in dementia. Oxidative stress is thought to be involved in Alzheimer’s Disease by the formation of amyloid-ß protein and DNA damage in neurons in the brain. Resveratrol with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects may also play a role.  In addition, alcohol increases the levels of HDL cholesterol and fibrinolytic factors resulting in a lower platelet aggregation. Furthermore, moderate consumption of wine and other alcoholic beverages enhances insulin sensitivity and consequently, may improve the memory function in subjects with early AD or mild cognitive impairment.

 

It is also possible that the beneficial effects of moderate drinking noted in studies might just be a marker for an overall healthy lifestyle. The Mediterranean diet with whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, olive oil and moderate red wine also reduces the risk of dementia, as does exercise, social engagement, mental activities and an optimistic outlook on life.

 

Experimental animal studies indicated that the phenolic compounds in wine were able to prevent the formation of plaques that are associated with the development of AD and other forms of dementia.

 

The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.

 

 

 

 

Importance: Substantial heterogeneity and uncertainty exist in the observed associations between alcohol consumption and dementia. Objective: To assess the association between alcohol consumption and dementia and the roles of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and apolipoprotein E epsilon4 (APOE E4) genotype in modifying this association. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used data from the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory Study, conducted from 2000 to 2008 among US community-dwelling participants. This study analyzed 3021 participants aged 72 years and older who were free of dementia. Data analysis was performed from 2017 to 2018. Exposures: Self-reported alcohol consumption, drinking frequency, and quantity. Main Outcomes and Measures: Using multivariable proportional hazards regression and linear mixed models, the risk of dementia and the rate…
AIM: To evaluate the association between the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption and incident dementia in older Japanese adults using large sample size data over a long follow-up period. METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study carried out in Japan. A total of 53 311 older adults were followed from 2008 to 2014. A health checkup questionnaire was used to assess the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption. The Dementia Scale of long-term care insurance was used as a measure of incident dementia. Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate adjusted hazard ratios, with their 95% confidence intervals, for the incidence of dementia across the categories of alcohol consumption by sex. RESULTS: During a 7-year follow-up period, 14…
BACKGROUND: Alcohol use has been identified as a risk factor for dementia and cognitive decline. However, some patterns of drinking have been associated with beneficial effects. METHODS AND RESULTS: To clarify the relationship between alcohol use and dementia, we conducted a scoping review based on a systematic search of systematic reviews published from January 2000 to October 2017 by using Medline, Embase, and PsycINFO. Overall, 28 systematic reviews were identified: 20 on the associations between the level of alcohol use and the incidence of cognitive impairment/dementia, six on the associations between dimensions of alcohol use and specific brain functions, and two on induced dementias. Although causality could not be established, light to moderate alcohol use in middle to late adulthood…
AIMS: Alcohol consumption is a modifiable and plausible risk factor for age-related cognitive decline but more longitudinal studies investigating the association are needed. Our aims were to estimate associations of adult-life alcohol consumption and consumption patterns with age-related cognitive decline. METHODS: We investigated the associations of self-reported adult-life weekly alcohol consumption and weekly extreme binge drinking (>/=10 units on the same occasion) with changes in test scores on an identical validated test of intelligence completed in early adulthood and late midlife in 2498 Danish men from the Lifestyle and Cognition Follow-up study 2015. Analyses were adjusted for year of birth, retest interval, baseline IQ, education and smoking. RESULTS: Men with adult-life alcohol consumption of more than 28 units/week had a…
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether dietary patterns (Mediterranean diet [MedDiet], Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension [DASH], and A Priori Diet Quality Score [APDQS]) during adulthood are associated with midlife cognitive performance. METHODS: We studied 2,621 Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) participants; 45% were black, 57% were female, and mean age was 25 +/- 3.5 years at baseline (year 0). Mean diet scores were calculated from diet history at baseline, year 7, and year 20 (mean age 25, 32, and 45 years, respectively). Cognitive function was assessed at years 25 and 30 (mean age 50 and 55 years, respectively). Linear models were used to examine association between tertiles of diet score and change in composite cognitive function and cognitive…
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