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Study: Alcohol Ages Male Brain, Leads to Decline in Cognitive Ability

Study: Alcohol Ages Male Brain, Leads to Decline in Cognitive Ability


A recent study published in the journal Neurology concluded that men who drink over the recommended amount of alcohol experience a significant decline in cognitive ability.

The study was conducted by researchers at University College London in the United Kingdom and it examined the drinking habits of 5,054 men aged forty-four to sixty-nine. Four tests were administered that assessed a number of factors including short-term memory, problem solving skills, and reasoning ability (Mohney, 2014). According to Dr. Alan Lerner, of the Brain Health and Memory Center at the University Hospital Case Medical Center in the United States, the results showed “an accelerated aging process” in that men who drank approximately two and half thirteen-ounce beers showed the brain functioning of someone “1.5 to 5.7” years older (Mohney, 2014). 

Allison McCabe, a staff writer for The Fix, stated that the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) “recommends that men drink no more than two drinks a day, and just one drink a day for women” (2014). 

Despite these recent findings, there is still hope for people in recovery. Dr. Michael Charness, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, stated that studies do show the brain can recover after a person stops drinking. “In the first six to eight weeks, brain shrinkage can partially reverse,” he said (McCabe, 2014).     



McCabe, A. (2014). Proof that alcohol ages the brain. The Fix. Retrieved from http://www.thefix.com/content/studies-show-drinking-ages-memory 

Mohney, G. (2014). Too much booze can shave six years off men’s memory. ABC News. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/booze-shave-years-off-mens-memory/story?id=21543298