Latest scientific news 27 October 2015

Can moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages reduce Parkinson’s disease risk?

A review of findings on the intake of alcoholic beverages and Parkinson’s disease (PD) risk pointed to a weak protective effect of light to moderate intake and an increased risk with heavy consumption.

The association between PD and the consumption of alcoholic beverages has been the focus of research for several decades with varying and often conflicting results.

Australian and British scientists reviewed the key features in 16 studies investigating the relationship between alcohol drinking and PD risk to determine potential sources of variability between the results.

In summary, the studies pointed to a weak protective effect of light to moderate intake whereas heavy consumption increased the risk. However, the scientists stressed that methodological weaknesses of the studies, including selection and recall bias, residual confounding and lack of uniformity in reporting quantity, duration and frequency of alcohol intake could undermine the credibility of their study results. They highlight the need for more prospective studies with adequate sample size to investigate the relationship between alcohol and PD.

Bettiol SS, Rose TC, Hughes CJ, Smith LA. Alcohol Consumption and Parkinson’s Disease Risk: A Review of Recent Findings. J Parkinsons Dis. 2015 Sep 14;5(3):425-42.

For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here.