27 March 2020 In Dementia

INTRODUCTION: Observational studies have suggested that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption decreases the risk of Alzheimer's disease, but it is unclear if this association is causal.

METHODS: Two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis was used to examine whether alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, or Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) scores were causally associated with the risk of Late-Onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) or Alzheimer's disease age of onset survival (AAOS). Additionally, gamma-glutamyltransferase levels were included as a positive control.

RESULTS: There was no evidence of a causal association between alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, or AUDIT, and LOAD. Alcohol consumption was associated with an earlier AAOS and increased gamma-glutamyltransferase blood concentrations. Alcohol dependence was associated with a delayed AAOS.

DISCUSSION: MR found robust evidence of a causal association between alcohol consumption and an earlier AAOS, but not alcohol intake and LOAD risk. The protective effect of alcohol dependence is potentially due to survivor bias.

27 March 2020 In Dementia

With an increase in life expectancy, the incidence of chronic degenerative pathologies such as dementia has progressively risen. Cognitive impairment leads to the gradual loss of skills, which results in substantial personal and financial cost at the individual and societal levels. Grapes and wines are rich in healthy compounds, which may help to maintain homeostasis and reduce the risk of several chronic illnesses, including dementia. This review analyzed papers that were systematically searched in PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, and CAB-Abstract, using the association between grapes (or their derivatives) and their effects on cognitive functions in humans. Analysis was restricted to epidemiological and randomized-controlled studies. Consumption of grape juice (200-500 mL/day) and/or light-to-moderate wine (one to four glasses/day) was generally associated with improved cognitive performance, while the results for other alcoholic beverages were controversial and inconclusive. Bioactive molecules contained in grapes and wine were also considered, with particular attention paid to resveratrol. Due to the relatively high doses required (150-1000 mg/day) for bioactivity coupled with its low bioavailability, resveratrol is only one of the possible grape-derived compounds that may partly underpin the beneficial effects of grapes on the central nervous system.

27 March 2020 In Dementia

BACKGROUND: Understanding the long-term health effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption is important for establishing thresholds for minimising the lifetime risk of harm. Recent research has elucidated the dose-response relationship between alcohol and cardiovascular outcomes, showing an increased risk of harm at levels of intake previously thought to be protective. The primary objective of this review was to examine (1) whether there is a dose-response relationship between levels of alcohol consumption and long-term cognitive effects, and (2) what the effects are of different levels of consumption.

METHODS: The review was conducted according to a pre-specified protocol. Eligible studies were those published 2007 onwards that compared cognitive function among people with different levels of alcohol consumption (measured >/= 6 months prior to first follow-up of cognition). Major cognitive impairment was excluded. Searches were limited to MEDLINE, Embase and PsycINFO (January 2007 to April 2018). Screening, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment (ROBINS-I) were piloted by three authors, then completed by a single author and checked by a second. Analyses were undertaken to identify and characterise dose-response relationships between levels of alcohol consumption and cognition. Certainty of evidence was assessed using GRADE.

RESULTS: We included 27 cohort studies (from 4786 citations). Eighteen studies examined the effects of alcohol consumption at different levels (risk of bias 16 serious, 2 critical). Ten studies provided data for dose-response analysis. The pooled dose-response relationship showed a maximum standardised mean difference (SMD) indicating slightly better cognition among women with moderate alcohol consumption compared to current non-drinkers (SMD 0.18, 95%CI 0.02 to 0.34, at 14.4 grams/day; 5 studies, very low certainty evidence), and a trivial difference for men (SMD 0.05, 95% CI 0.00 to 0.10, at 19.4 grams/day; 6 studies, very low certainty evidence).

CONCLUSIONS: Major limitations in the design and reporting of included studies made it impossible to discern if the effects of 'lower' levels of alcohol intake are due to bias. Further review of the evidence is unlikely to resolve this issue without meta-analysis of individual patient data from cohort studies that address biases in the selection of participants and classification of alcohol consumption.

27 March 2020 In Dementia

BACKGROUND: Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most threatening neurodegenerative disease, is characterized by the loss of memory and language function, an unbalanced perception of space, and other cognitive and physical manifestations. The pathology of AD is characterized by neuronal loss and the extensive distribution of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). The role of environment and the diet in AD is being actively studied, and nutrition is one of the main factors playing a prominent role in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. In this context, the relationship between dementia and wine use/abuse has received increased research interest, with varying and often conflicting results.

Scope and Approach: With this review, we aimed to critically summarize the main relevant studies to clarify the relationship between wine drinking and AD, as well as how frequency and/or amount of drinking may influence the effects.

Key Findings and Conclusions: Overall, based on the interpretation of various studies, no definitive results highlight if light to moderate alcohol drinking is detrimental to cognition and dementia, or if alcohol intake could reduce risk of developing AD.

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