If you drink until you drop, you risk dementia – health

Hangovers are bad, but may not be the worst consequence of binge drinking.

Too much alcohol is never good. But those who drink until they are unconscious could have a significantly increased risk of developing dementia. This is what researchers from University College London report in the specialist journal “Jama Network Open“They evaluated several studies in which the drinking habits of over 131,000 people had been examined.

Do not exaggerate

Like the epidemiologist’s team Mika Kivimaki found, it seems that how many drinks someone has per week seems to matter less than how the evenings end with alcohol. Because regardless of whether the test subjects were moderate or heavy drinkers (from 14 alcohol units per week, see box): If the participants had drunk until they drop in the last 12 months, their risk of dementia doubled compared to those who did not have blackouts , said Kivimaki and his colleagues.

It made no difference whether it was men or women. The age of the study participants was also irrelevant.

The researchers point out that their study says nothing about whether the loss of consciousness favors dementia or whether people with dementia simply tend to binge drink. However, there are some arguments in favor of the former: “Ethanol is neurotoxic, crosses the blood-brain barrier and, in high concentrations, can trigger pathological processes that damage or kill brain cells.”

In addition, episodes of particularly heavy alcohol consumption can contribute to the development of other health conditions related to dementia. For example, liver and kidney diseases, diabetes and coronary heart disease.

That’s what alcohol does to our bodies

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