Alcohol and dementia

A large-scale study in France of the association between heavy drinking and the onset of dementia demonstrates a strong connection. Indeed, alcohol use appears to be the biggest risk factor for early-onset dementia. Of more than one million people diagnosed with dementia before the age of 65 in France, the researchers found that 57,000 of them were or had been heavy drinkers. Heavy drinking is defined as ingesting 60 grams of ethanol from alcoholic beverages per day for men and 40 g for women. Director of the CAMH Institute for Mental Health Policy Research Jürgen Rehm explains: “Alcohol-induced brain damage and dementia are preventable, and known-effective preventive and policy measures can make a dent into premature dementia deaths.”