vascular dementia and alcohol

Discussion in 'Researchers, students and professionals' started by CraigC, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Hi Sarah,

    I'd be interested if the society had any views / feedback on the following article? It says that moderate alcohol intake greatly risks the chances of getting vascular dementia.

    Will the campaign touch on diet and lifestyle?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1780130.stm

    Kind Regards
    Craig
     
  2. Sarah Day

    Sarah Day Registered User

    Sep 28, 2004
    17
    Gordon House, London
    A little of what you fancy appears to do you good

    Hi Craig and thanks for such an enthusiastic welcome.

    You raise an interesting point about the effects of alcohol on our risk of getting Vascular Dementia. Research suggests (as the article shows) that light to moderate consumption of wine (not beer) is actually good for our health. It appears to keep the blood less sticky and reduce the risk of clots forming - one of the main problems that can cause Vascular Dementia. Remember though, too much alcohol may actually cause dementia. This is known as Korsakoff's syndrome.

    The project will very much focus on the effect a healthy lifestyle can have on the risk of developing Vascular Dementia. It is a bit of a balancing act when it comes to diet and lifestyle issues. On the one hand, it is recommended that we eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, oily fish once a week and that we take regular exercise. However, we should all try to stop smoking and eat less saturated fat and salt.

    I'd be really interested to know your opinions - do you think people generally are changing their behaviour and opting for healthier lifestyles?

    Sarah
     
  3. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Sarah,

    I think probably that people in the 40-60 age group probably are doing so these days.

    Having read some recent articles in the media about binge drinking and junk food, then it seems reasonable to assume that young people are of a 'live now, pay later' attitude. Mind you, it has been ever thus.

    Perhaps we don't really start to wise up until we get a bit older and begin to think about mortality.

    Best wishes,

    Jude
     
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    My Mum always did enjoy her little tipples, although she never got rolling drunk or anything, so how do they decide whether it's Vascular or Kosakoffs? I've read the fact sheet, (sent for the whole pack when I first thought something was up) but would like to know more please. Love, She. XX
     
  5. Sarah Day

    Sarah Day Registered User

    Sep 28, 2004
    17
    Gordon House, London
    Differences between Korsakoff's syndrome and vascular dementia

    Hi Shelia - thanks for your message.

    Korsakoff's syndrome is associated with heavy drinking over a long period of time. The damage caused (by lack of thiamine) is not only related to the actual alcohol intake but the poor diet that very often goes hand-in-hand with this.

    In order to diagnose any disease, the doctor must take details of the patient's history and may conduct various tests. Where a diagnosis of Korsakoff's syndrome is suspected, a history of alcohol abuse will be taken but the actual diagnosis will not be given until the individual has abstained from alcohol for 4-5 weeks.

    Not all heavy drinkers will develop Korsakoff's syndrome so it is possible that memory impairments may be related to another cause such as perhaps Alzheimer's or vascular dementia. Psychological tests along with brain imaging techniques will provide a better indication of whether this is likely but it is vital that alcohol is taken out of the equation first and a lack of thiamine is ruled out as being the cause of the memory loss.

    In the case of vascular dementia, the history is more likely to be one of high blood pressure, heart disease or a record of strokes or diabetes. I have started a new thread to discuss diagnosis of vascular dementia and would appreciate your comments.

    Best wishes,

    Sarah
     

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