Biggest risk factor for dementia: Heavy drinking

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Dementia is a terrible thing to watch, and an even more terrible condition to experience. It is defined as a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.

There are things you can do now to prevent later dementia, and a new study suggests that the most important is to take a look at how much alcohol you drink. If you’re a heavy drinker, you’re at increased risk for the condition, including the early onset type.

The study examined 57,000 cases of early onset dementia and found 57 percent of them were tied to heavy drinking (4-5 drinks a day for men and 3 drinks a day for women.)

Once dementia has set in, it’s hard to backpedal. We need to catch and treat problem drinking early.

If your alcohol consumption can be classified as heavy, consider reducing it. Not only can it contribute to dementia, it’s bad for mental health in general. If you’re addicted, seek help. Mental health practitioners can play a role in your recovery. Go here to read more about how we can help!

Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Mental Health Solutions, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. If you would like to discuss the information in this blog further with her, please call 208-918-0958. She sees adolescents and adults. Information in this blog is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider about decisions regarding your health.

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