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2 Drinks a Day Pulls Alzheimer's 5 Years Younger

posted 05:26 AM EST, Thu April 17, 2008
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2 Drinks a Day Pulls Alzheimer's 5 Years Younger © Photo: Anne_Marie

Drinking 2 or more drinks per day causes a 5 year earlier onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Heavy drinkers (those who average more than 2 drinks daily) succumb to Alzheimer's disease 5 years earlier than teetotalers, those who smoke and drink will develop the disease 7 years earlier - and people with high cholesterol levels in their 40's are 150% more likely to develop the fatal dementia disorder.

These were the findings of research presented at the Chicago meeting of the American Academy of Neurology yesterday.

Dr. Ranjan Duara, of Mount Sinai Medical Center, has studied almost 1000 Alzheimer's patients and in presenting his research findings he said that smoking and drinking are, "among the most important preventable risk factors."

Cardiac problems seem to influence earlier onset dementias, and Dr. Alina Solomon, who also presented at the meeting, recommended a more integrated preventative lifestyle as a way to reduce the odds of Alzheimer's, saying, "Minding heart health might protect the brain as well. People need to be aware of the big picture, not focus only on the heart or only on the brain."

Doctors say that the recent research reasserts the findings of earlier studies, and say that reducing cardiovascular risk factors early in life is of paramount importance, not only for the prevention of heart attack and stroke, but also to prevent cognitive declines in later years.

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