This amount of alcoholic drinks per week increases the risk of dementia
“I’m very blunt when I say that no amount of alcohol is good for the brain. When you sit down [the moderate drinking] category, [the scientific literature] shows that you can literally have a little brain damage. You are killing neurons in your brain,” explains Nicola, referring to a 2022 1Communications of nature1 overview1 . “So it’s not good to drink,” she explains.
Not surprisingly, the effects of alcohol on the general functioning of the brain can also contribute to the development of dementia. Actually, Lancet updated its 2020 dementia prevention review to add three new modifiable risk factors for dementia: air pollution, traumatic brain injury, and excessive alcohol use. Researchers found that drinking more than 21 units (more on this in a minute) of alcoholic beverages per week increases the risk of dementia by 17%2.
According to a 2018 retrospective cohort study in France, reducing alcohol consumption is particularly beneficial in reducing the risk of developing early-onset dementia (the prevalence of which increased by 200% between 2013 and 2017). Of the 57,353 cases of early-onset dementia analyzed by the researchers, 38.9% were related to alcohol3 and another 17.6% had a co-diagnosis of an alcohol-related disorder.