Binge Drinking Raises Risk of Cognitive Decline

Regular readers are aware smoking is just not on as far as I am concerned here on the blog. It is simply self-destructive behavior. Besides lung cancer, smoking damages every organ in the body. I hope that regular readers are not smokers. Ditto binge drinking. I know this sounds like something from wild college days, but it turns out that there are a lot of adults out there who overdo the alcohol scene.

Because my family has both Alzheimers’ Disease and dementia on both sides, I am especially sensitive to cognitive decline. I want very much to keep my mental faculties intact for my entire life.

For that reason, I was struck by an item in USA TODAY by Janice Lloyd reporting from Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver, Canada that binge drinking increases the risk of cognitive decline.

“Adults ages 65 and older who reported binge drinking at least twice a month were 2½ times more likely to suffer cognitive and memory declines than similar-aged adults who don’t binge-drink.

“It’s not just how much you drink but the pattern of your drinking,” says lead author Iain Lang of the University of Exeter in England. “Older people need to be aware, if they do binge-drink, of the risks and they should change their behaviors.”

Ms. Lloyd also reported on a study in January by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that one in six adults in the U.S. are binge drinkers and those in the over-65 age group drink more often than any other age group. They defined binge drinking as men having five or more drinks within a short period of time. For women it was four or more drinks. (Emphasis mine.)

If you think you have an alcohol problem please seek help. There are resources at many places of worship that will give you counseling at no charge. Likewise, many communities offer assistance. Don’t continue this another day. Recognizing that you have a problem gets you half way to the solution. Keep your mental faculties intact as long as you can. They connect you to the rest of the world.


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Filed under aging, binge drinking, brain, cognitive decline

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