The most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is believed to be caused by a build-up of toxic proteins in and around the brain.
It’s a progressive condition, which means the symptoms get worse over time.
You could lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms by drinking wine everyday, scientists have revealed.
About a third of a unit every day – around 25ml of wine – could lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, they said.
The alcohol boosts the brain’s self-cleaning ability, which lowers your risk of dementia, it was claimed.
A daily small dose of wine could improve the brain’s self-cleaning service by between 30 to 40 per cent, said University College London’s Dr Ian Harrison.
The cleaning service is known as the glymphatic system, and it helps to get rid of toxic proteins in the brain.
Previous mice trials on alcohol intake could be translated to humans’ risk of developing the neurodegenerative condition, said Harrison.
“So 25ml of wine could increase your glymphatic system, according to this mouse study,” he told the Cheltenham Science Festival.
The mice were given a small dose of alcohol, the equivalent to about a third of a unit in humans. Scientists could use the mouse data and transfer the findings to humans, he said.
But, regularly drinking high levels of alcohol could increase your risk of a number of deadly health conditions, as well as your chances of becoming addicted, said the Alzheimer’s Society.
It could also lead to alcohol-related brain damage in some people, it added.
You could also lower your Alzheimer’s risk by sleeping more, and by regularly exercising, the mouse trials revealed.
Mice that were sleeping had a 60 per cent more active glymphatic system than those that were awake.
“If that is anything to go by we should all be sleeping a lot more than we are,” said Harrison.
Similarly, a healthy exercise regime could also stave off the dementia, the study claimed.
The glymphatic system is linked to an increase heart rate. So, regularly increasing your heart rate could prevent the toxic build-up of proteins in the brain.
“But when animals have voluntary access to exercise there is a massive increase in glymphatic function.
“The research postulates it is the increase in heart rate that drives the fluid into the brain.”
If you’re concerned about someone’s drinking, or your own, Drinkline runs a free, confidential helpline. Call 0300 123 1110.
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