(NaturalPath) According to a study out of the Research Society on Alcoholism, heavy drinking can lead to neurophysiological and cognitive changes ranging from disrupted sleep to more serious neurotoxic effects. Aging can also contribute to cognitive decline. Several studies on the interaction of current heavy drinking and aging have had varied results. This study sought to elucidate the relations among age, heavy drinking, and neurocognitive function.
The study included 66 participants from the Brown University Center for AIDS Research and studied them. Of the group, 21 were classified as current heavy drinkers, while 45 were non-drinkers and moderate drinkers. About 53 percent of all the individuals had a lifetime history of alcohol dependence (AD). Neurocognitive data were grouped according to global cognitive function, attention/executive function, learning, memory, motor function, verbal function, and speed processing.
After evaluation, the results of the study were that current heavy drinking in older adults was associated with poorer global cognitive function, learning, memory, and motor function. Even worse, a lifetime history of alcohol dependence was further associated with poorer attention/executive domain, notwithstanding age.
So, to avoid issues as you age, make sure to be mindful of your alcohol intake.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.