Posters-Accepted Abstracts: J Neurol Neurophysiol
Background: Mild-moderate alcohol intake is widely considered to be associated with decreased risk of developing Alzheimer
disease (AD), while heavy drinking increases the risk. There is little information about how alcohol affects the cognitive profile
among those already diagnosed with AD.
Objective: To examine the relationship between alcohol, both the amount and type, and cognitive decline in a cohort of AD
Methods: A cohort of 360 patients with early AD in New York, Boston, Baltimore and Paris were followed-up biannually
for up to 19.28 years. At each visit, the cognitive profile of the patients was assessed using the modified Mini-Mental State
Examination (mMMSE), and patients’ alcohol intake, including beverage type, was reported by patients’ primary caregivers.
General estimating equation analysis was used to determine whether baseline alcohol use was associated with the rate of
Findings: Heavy drinkers (8 or more alcoholic drinks/week) had a faster cognitive decline, deteriorating 2.625 more points
on their mMMSE score annually compared to abstainers (P≤0.0001), or 3.429 more points compared to mild-moderate
drinkers (1-7 alcoholic drinks/week) (P=0.006). There was no significant difference when comparing mild-moderate drinkers
to abstainers. Increasing standard drinks of hard liquor, but not beer or wine, was also associated with a faster rate of cognitive
decline (β=-0.165 P=≤0.0001).
Conclusions: Heavy alcohol consumption and more hard liquor are associated with a faster rate of cognitive decline in AD
patients, suggesting that they may hasten progression of AD. Our results suggest that alcohol drinking habits might alter the
course of AD.