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Alcohol and Dementia – What is the Link? A Systematic Review

Authors Wiegmann C, Mick I, Brandl EJ, Heinz A, Gutwinski S

Received 3 October 2019

Accepted for publication 22 December 2019

Published 9 January 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 87—99


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Caspar Wiegmann, 1 Inge Mick, 1 Eva J Brandl, 1 Andreas Heinz, 1, 2 Stefan Gutwinski 1

1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Psychiatric Hospital of Charité at St. Hedwig Hospital, Berlin, Germany; 2Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Correspondence: Caspar Wiegmann
Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik der Charité im St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus, Große Hamburger Str. 5-11, Berlin-Mitte 10115, Germany
Tel +49 30 2311 2500

Background: Dementia is a globally increasing health issue and since no cure is currently available, prevention is crucial. The consumption of alcohol is a controversially discussed risk factor for dementia. While many previously published epidemiological studies reported a risk reduction by light to moderate alcohol consumption, there is no persuasive model of an underlying biochemical mechanism. The purpose of this article is to review current models on alcohol neurotoxicity and dementia and to analyze and compare studies focusing on the epidemiological link between alcohol consumption and the risk of dementia.
Methods: The electronic database Pubmed was searched for studies published between 1994 and 2019 concerning the topic.
Results: Available epidemiological studies are not sufficient to verify a protective effect of alcohol on dementia development.

Keywords: alcohol neurotoxicity, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Korsakoff´s syndrome

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