27 March 2020 In Dementia

INTRODUCTION: Observational studies have suggested that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption decreases the risk of Alzheimer's disease, but it is unclear if this association is causal.

METHODS: Two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis was used to examine whether alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, or Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) scores were causally associated with the risk of Late-Onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) or Alzheimer's disease age of onset survival (AAOS). Additionally, gamma-glutamyltransferase levels were included as a positive control.

RESULTS: There was no evidence of a causal association between alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, or AUDIT, and LOAD. Alcohol consumption was associated with an earlier AAOS and increased gamma-glutamyltransferase blood concentrations. Alcohol dependence was associated with a delayed AAOS.

DISCUSSION: MR found robust evidence of a causal association between alcohol consumption and an earlier AAOS, but not alcohol intake and LOAD risk. The protective effect of alcohol dependence is potentially due to survivor bias.

27 March 2020 In Dementia

BACKGROUND: Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most threatening neurodegenerative disease, is characterized by the loss of memory and language function, an unbalanced perception of space, and other cognitive and physical manifestations. The pathology of AD is characterized by neuronal loss and the extensive distribution of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). The role of environment and the diet in AD is being actively studied, and nutrition is one of the main factors playing a prominent role in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. In this context, the relationship between dementia and wine use/abuse has received increased research interest, with varying and often conflicting results.

Scope and Approach: With this review, we aimed to critically summarize the main relevant studies to clarify the relationship between wine drinking and AD, as well as how frequency and/or amount of drinking may influence the effects.

Key Findings and Conclusions: Overall, based on the interpretation of various studies, no definitive results highlight if light to moderate alcohol drinking is detrimental to cognition and dementia, or if alcohol intake could reduce risk of developing AD.

21 February 2020 In Dementia

BACKGROUND: Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most threatening neurodegenerative disease, is characterized by the loss of memory and language function, an unbalanced perception of space, and other cognitive and physical manifestations.

The pathology of AD is characterized by neuronal loss and the extensive distribution of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). The role of environment and the diet in AD is being actively studied, and nutrition is one of the main factors playing a prominent role in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.

In this context, the relationship between dementia and wine use/abuse has received increased research interest, with varying and often conflicting results.

Scope and Approach: With this review, we aimed to critically summarize the main relevant studies to clarify the relationship between wine drinking and AD, as well as how frequency and/or amount of drinking may influence the effects.

Key Findings and Conclusions: Overall, based on the interpretation of various studies, no definitive results highlight if light to moderate alcohol drinking is detrimental to cognition and dementia, or if alcohol intake could reduce risk of developing AD.

21 February 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Problem drinking carries significant health burdens, including an increased risk of hypertension. The effect of chronic alcohol intake on blood pressure (BP) in women is understudied and poorly understood.

OBJECTIVES: We sought to examine the relationships between drinking habits and BP in hypertensive women. METHODS: We analyzed drinking habits in 113 women followed in the Brigham and Women's Hospital Hypertension Clinic for at least one year.

RESULTS: Among these women with well-controlled hypertension, baseline diastolic BP was significantly lower in moderate drinkers compared with women who rarely or never drank. Changes in both systolic and diastolic BP over 12 months showed a significant negative association with changes in percent drinking days. In contrast, there was a trend toward higher baseline systolic BP among those women who consumed more drinks per drinking day.

CONCLUSIONS: Among these women with controlled hypertension, our data failed to demonstrate an association between drinking beyond recommended limits and higher disease burden. These findings parallel the widely reported difference between drinking frequency, associated with a host of positive health outcomes, and drinking intensity, associated with negative outcomes. Novel to this report is an observed reduction in blood pressure over the one-year follow-up period accompanying an increased drinking frequency in treated hypertensive women. Cautions include the suggestion that a greater number of drinks per drinking day was associated with higher baseline pressure. These data imply that drinking within sensible limits has no negative impact on chronic hypertension. In fact, for women with well-controlled hypertension, such a habit may impart benefit

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