15 June 2022 In Dementia

BACKGROUND: Low-to-moderate alcohol consumption appears to have potential health benefits. Existing evidence concludes that wine may be associated with a lower incidence of certain diseases. This systematic review and meta-analysis aim to examine evidence on the association between wine consumption and cognitive decline and to analyze whether this association varies depending on the wine consumption level or is affected by individual and study characteristics, including mean age, percentage of women participants, and follow-up time.

METHODS: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we undertook a search in MEDLINE (via PubMed), Scopus, Cochrane, and Web of Science databases for longitudinal studies measuring the association between wine consumption and cognitive decline from their inception to May 2021. Effect sizes were calculated using the DerSimonian and Laird and Hartung-Knapp-Sidik-Jonkman methods.

RESULTS: The search retrieved 6,055 articles, 16 of which were included in this systematic review. In total, 12 studies were included in the meta-analysis. The studies were published between 1997 and 2019. They were conducted in nine different countries. The sample size of the included studies ranged from 360 to 10,308 with a mean age of 70 years old. Using the DerSimoniand and Laird method, the pooled RR for the effect of wine consumption on cognitive decline was 0.72 (95% CI 0.63-0.80; I (2) = 82.4%; tau(2): 0.0154). Using the Hartung-Knapp-Sidik-Jonkman method, the RR was 0.65 (95% CI 0.52-0.79; I (2) = 94,531%; tau(2): 0.057).

CONCLUSIONS: This study may show a protective effect of wine consumption against cognitive decline. However, it would be important for future research to differentiate the types of wine within consumption.

24 March 2021 In Phenolic compounds

Ageing and menopause contribute to endothelial dysfunction, causing impaired cerebral perfusion, which is in turn associated with accelerated cognitive decline. In a 14-week pilot study, we showed that supplementation with low-dose resveratrol, a phytoestrogen that can enhance endothelial function, improved cerebrovascular and cognitive functions in postmenopausal women.

We sought to confirm these benefits in a larger, longer-term trial. A 24-month randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial was undertaken in 125 postmenopausal women, aged 45-85 years, who took 75 mg trans-resveratrol or placebo twice-daily for 12 months and then crossover to the alternative treatment for another 12 months. We evaluated within individual differences between each treatment period in measures of cognition (primary outcome), cerebrovascular function in the middle cerebral artery (cerebral blood flow velocity: CBFV, cerebrovascular responsiveness: CVR) and cardio-metabolic markers as secondary outcomes.

Subgroup analyses examined effects of resveratrol by life stages. Compared to placebo, resveratrol supplementation resulted a significant 33% improvement in overall cognitive performance (Cohen's d = 0.170, P = 0.005). Women >/=65 years of age showed a relative improvement in verbal memory with resveratrol compared to those younger than 65 years. Furthermore, resveratrol improved secondary outcomes including resting mean CBFV (d = 0.275, P = 0.001), CVR to hypercapnia (d = 0.307, P = 0.027), CVR to cognitive stimuli (d = 0.259, P = 0.032), fasting insulin (d = 0.174, P = 0.025) and insulin resistance index (d = 0.102, P = 0.034).

Regular supplementation with low-dose resveratrol can enhance cognition, cerebrovascular function and insulin sensitivity in postmenopausal women. This may translate into a slowing of the accelerated cognitive decline due to ageing and menopause, especially in late-life women. Further studies are warranted to observe whether these cognitive benefits of resveratrol can reduce the risk of dementia.

04 May 2020 In Phenolic compounds

Deficits in the cerebral microcirculation contribute to age-related cognitive decline. In a pilot study of postmenopausal women, we found that supplementation with a low dose of resveratrol, a phytoestrogen, for 14 weeks improved cerebrovascular and cognitive functions.

We have since undertaken a larger, longer term study to confirm these benefits. Postmenopausal women aged 45-85 years (n = 129) were randomized to take placebo or 75 mg trans-resveratrol twice daily for 12 months. Effects on cognition, cerebral blood flow, cerebrovascular responsiveness (CVR) and cardiometabolic markers (blood pressure, diabetes markers and fasting lipids) were assessed. Compared to placebo, resveratrol improved overall cognitive performance (P < 0.001) and attenuated the decline in CVR to cognitive stimuli (P = 0.038). The latter effect was associated with reduction of fasting blood glucose (r = -0.339, P = 0.023).

This long-term study confirms that regular consumption of resveratrol can enhance cognitive and cerebrovascular functions in postmenopausal women, with the potential to slow cognitive decline due to ageing and menopause.

13 February 2014 In Latest Scientific News

Results from the Whitehall II prospective study showed that men consuming alcoholic beverages excessively (> 36 g/d) experienced a faster cognitive decline compared to moderate drinkers.

The alcohol consumption of more than 7000 men and women with an average age of 56 years was recorded three times in the 10 years before the first cognitive assessment. Two more cognitive tests were performed during the 10 year follow-up. There were no differences in the cognitive decline among abstainers, quitters, and light or moderate drinkers (< 20 g/d) in men. However, men consuming more than 36 g of alcohol/d were more likely to experience a faster cognitive decline in all tests. A weaker evidence of this effect was observed in women consuming more than 19 g/d but only for one of the three cognitive tests. Female abstainers showed a faster cognitive decline compared to light drinkers (up to 9.9 g/d). The authors concluded that excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages in midlife is likely to be harmful for cognitive aging in men. However, a moderate intake does not seem to be deleterious for cognitive functioning as already shown in previous studies. The mechanisms involved in this association are complex. Cerebro- and cardiovascular pathways with effects over an extended period of time are thought to be involved. A lower vascular risk is related to moderate intake of alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, abstinence as well as excessive alcohol consumption are associated with a higher risk of vascular diseases, which consequently may increase the risk of cognitive impairment by direct neurotoxic and pro-inflammatory effects. 

Sabia S et al, Alcohol consumption and cognitive decline in early old age, Neurology 82, Jan 28, 2014, 1-8.

 

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