Latest scientific news 11 August 2017

Lifestyle counts: Better memory among older light-to-moderate drinkers

The current prospective study provides compelling data that memory function in aging individuals can be positively influenced in the long-term by physical activity, moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages and social engagement.

Lifestyle is believed to have significant influence on cognitive aging. Dutch and US researchers investigated a group of 1,966 men and women (age 65 and older) over a period of 14 years. Episodic memory tests were performed every 3 years. Lifestyle habits were repeatedly assessed using self-report measures. Besides physical activity and social engagement, light-to-moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages (*) were associated with a better memory function over the course of 14 years. In contrast, smoking and long sleep durations have detrimental effects on cognition.

(*) Light/moderate consumption was defined as:

1-14 drinks/week for men and 1-7 drinks/week for women

Klaming R, Annese J, Veltman DJ, et al. Episodic memory function is affected by lifestyle factors: a 14-year follow-up study in an elderly population. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn. 2017;24(5):528-542. 

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