// News Entry

Fall-Winter 2011

In the news…

Does moderate drinking help prevent Alzheimer’s disease? A recent review of research regarding alcohol consumption and dementia indicates that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, especially wine, may lower the risk of dementia. The review of 143 studies demonstrated that individuals who drank moderately were in fact 23% less likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive impairment; wine may be slightly more beneficial than beer. On the other hand, heavy drinking, which constitutes more than three to five drinks per day, was found to be associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.  Although there are several reports of the beneficial effects of alcohol, Sam Gandy, M.D., Ph.D, associate director of the ADRC, cautions against individuals using alcohol as an approach to prevent cognitive decline, as there have been no clinical trials examining the relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and cognitive health.

Doctors Debate Effectiveness of Alzheimer’s “Milkshake”. Axona is a controversial new alternative treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Axona is considered to be “medical food,” not a drug, that supplies the brain with fats and ketones, which are to be used as fuel. Although some people are hopeful about alternative treatments, such as Axona, many researchers, including Sam Gandy, M.D., Ph.D, are less optimistic about these products.  “It’s fairly outrageous that little can be done to impede the exploitative marketing of unproven and unlikely substances to vulnerable Alzheimer’s patients and their desperate caregivers,” says Dr. Gandy. A major concern among critics is the lack of data showing that the “medical food” is beneficial.

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