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Here's How Alcohol Can Increase Your Risk for Alzheimer's

alcohol increases alzheimers

Story at-a-glance -

  • Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago revealed alcohol may increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by disrupting the way amyloid beta is cleared
  • Amyloid beta is a protein implicated in Alzheimer’s disease that can clump together in the brain, building up into groups of clumps or a sticky plaque that may disrupt cell-to-cell signaling
  • The study focused on rat microglial cells, which are immune system cells in the brain and spinal cord that actively work to clear amyloid beta in a process known as phagocytosis
  • Microglial phagocytosis was affected by alcohol, decreasing by about 15 percent after one hour of exposure
  • The study reveals that binge drinking or heavy alcohol consumption may make it more likely that the brain will accumulate these damaging proteins, contributing to the development of Alzheimer’s disease

By Dr. Mercola

Drinking alcohol has been found to have both a protective and damaging effect on the brain, depending on which study you read and how much alcohol is consumed. The jury is still out on whether light or moderate consumption may be good for your brain, but it's becoming increasingly clear that heavy drinking is not. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago even revealed how alcohol may increase your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, by disrupting the way amyloid beta is cleared.


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