Dementia is being diagnosed more every day and is of great concern to the medical community. Finding the causes and possible remedies are high on the list of challenges that many are seeking solutions for. There are countless studies on the causes and possible prevention of dementia. One study has revealed that alcohol may play a part in reducing the risk of dementia.
There is nothing definitive to report on as of yet because up to now, studies have been restricted to mice. The study revealed that the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) that surrounds the brain and spinal cord isn’t just a cushion against shocks. It also actively flushes away waste products, including the protein amyloid, which is frequently found in abnormal clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. The researchers dubbed this cerebral garbage disposal the “glymphatic system.”
For this research, the effect of alcohol on the glymphatic systems of mice was studied. the animals were dosed with either low, medium or high levels of alcohol. The low dose was the equivalent of 2.6 drinks of alcohol for a 154-lb. (70 kilograms) person, with a drink defined as 5 ounces of wine with 12 percent alcohol, or 12 ounces of 5-percent-alcohol beer. The medium dose was the equivalent of 7.9 drinks for a 154-lb. person, and the high dose was 21 drinks. However, these body weight comparisons aren’t quite accurate because they don’t consider that mouse metabolisms are faster than humans. They found that immediately after a single low dose of alcohol, the CSF flow increased by 40 percent. Medium and high doses, by contrast, decreased the flow of the CSF by around 30 percent.
In effect, the findings seem to indicate that small doses of alcohol can help “clean” the brain and by doing so help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. One should keep in mind that this only applies to small doses of alcohol where as heavy use of alcohol has been to linked to multiple health problems.