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People who regularly consume alcoholic had one-half risk of developing Alzheimer

Boston University : 01 June, 2000  (Technical Article)
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have shown that people who regularly consume alcoholic beverages had approximately one-half the risk of developing Alzheimer
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have shown that people who regularly consume alcoholic beverages had approximately one-half the risk of developing Alzheimerís disease when compared to non-drinkers. These finding appear in the recent issue of the journal Alzheimerís Reports.

The researchers evaluated the joint effects of smoking and alcohol consumption on risk of developing AD among 238 diagnosed AD patients and 699 control subjects from the Framingham Study. They found that moderate and high drinkers of alcohol, (the cutoff defined according to USDA guidelines of up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women), had a 50 to 60 percent less chance of developing AD compared to those who consumed little or no alcohol. These results were similar for both men and women.

'Alcohol consumption within nationally recommended limits may offer some protection against developing Alzheimerís disease, yet it would be premature to recommend this as a prophylaxis until the protective mechanism is fully understood,' says senior author Lindsay Farrer, PhD, chief of the genetics program and a professor of medicine, neurology and public health at Boston University School of Medicine and Public Health.

However, the results of this study suggest that the association between smoking and risk of developing AD is not as clear cut. While smokers and non-smokers were equally likely to develop AD, the researchers found that among women who carry the e4 variant of the apolipoprotein E gene, smokers were at greater risk for developing AD than non-smokers. In contrast, smoking afforded some protection against AD among women lacking APOE e4. In men there appeared to be no link between smoking and AD regardless of the APOE status. 'This unexpected pattern of association may be an example of how genetic and lifestyle factors conspire to increase or decrease risk of disease,' says Farrer. Clearly this is fertile ground for additional research.'
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