August 17, 2018 – Drinking Habits


Anchor lead: If you don’t drink alcohol and you’re worried about Alzheimer’s disease, what should you do? Elizabeth Tracey reports

People who drink alcohol moderately in middle age seem to develop Alzheimer’s disease less often than those who don’t drink at all or who drink heavily. If you’re a teetotaler, does this mean you should start quaffing alcohol? Sevil Yasar, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins who wrote the editorial accompanying the study in the British Medical Journal says, not so fast.

Yasar: Definitely if you drink a lot, cut down. If you are an abstainer I would not recommend to my patients that you should start now to drink you know one glass of wine. I need more answers before I can do that. This is a population, they were in London, they were government employees so I’m sure they were better socioeconomics, maybe better social habits. How can I generalize it to everyone? The one and the best answer is doing a clinical trial.  :26

Yasar points out that such a trial should be free of any bias as a result of funding by the alcoholic beverage industry, and would need to follow a large number of participants over a long period of time. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.