Having a glass of wine could do more than enhance your food. It may preserve your memory for longer, say doctors.
New research shows just one drink a day may delay dementia in those at risk from the disease because they are already having memory problems.
It is the first study to look at people with a condition called mild cognitive impairment, a transitional stage between normal aging and dementia in which mental abilities have started to deteriorate.
Those who drank modest amounts of alcohol developed dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, at an 85 percent slower rate than those who did not drink, says a study in the medical journal Neurology.
Experts said the message was “little and often” for people wanting to protect their memory, as excessive levels of alcohol consumption can lead to dementia.
In the study, Italian researchers measured the alcohol consumption and brain functioning in nearly 1,500 people, aged 65 to 84 years. They tracked 121 people with mild cognitive impairment and their progression to dementia for more than three years.
Alcohol may guard against dementia because it is good for the circulation and may stop hardening of the arteries in the brain, doctors surmised.