Keith Vossel, MD: Excess alcohol consumption may speed up progression of Alzheimer's disease

Dr. Keith Vossel

"A new study reveals that mice exposed to regular high levels of alcohol exhibited cognitive decline approximately two months earlier than their typical progression when not exposed to alcohol.

Introducing ethanol to a genetic background prone to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) accelerates the onset of the condition by several months or even a few years.

While limited research has investigated the impact of alcohol on worsening Alzheimer’s disease, epidemiological studies have suggested that alcohol use disorder may increase the overall risk of developing dementia.

In order to investigate the impact of alcohol on Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers conducted an experiment where mice were exposed to repeated alcohol consumption over several months, reflecting the levels of alcohol exposure seen in individuals with alcohol use disorder.

They compared the behavior of control mice with mice that possessed three specific gene mutations associated with susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease.

Is there a connection between dementia and alcohol?

Dr. Keith Vossel, a professor of neurology and the director of the Mary S. Easton Center for Research and Care at UCLA, not involved in the study, told Medical News Today that the new research seems to complement previous findings about dementia and alcohol use.

“Excessive alcohol intake — over 21 units a week — has been associated with [a] higher risk of developing dementia,” Dr. Vossel said."

Read more at Medical News Today.