Drinking and the shrinking brain
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Drinking alcohol in moderation – no more than a couple a day – is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. But a study indicates alcohol that helps the heart might harm the brain.
Carol Ann Paul of Wellesley College looked at brain images in research at the Boston University School of Public Health. She found brain size was smaller among people who drank – even among former drinkers.
Men are more likely to drink alcohol, but the association between drinking and brain size was stronger in women.
“Women seemed to be more effected – they had a steeper decline in brain volume than men, but women metabolize alcohol differently. They’re generally more affected than men.” (11 seconds)
The study in Archives of Neurology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011