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Alcohol consumption, even at moderate levels, is associated with increased risk of adverse brain outcomes and steeper decline in cognitive skills, finds a study led by Dr Anya Topiwala at the University of Oxford's Department of Psychiatry, and published by The BMJ.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The results of the study - 'Moderate alcohol consumption as risk factor for adverse brain outcomes and cognitive decline: longitudinal cohort study' - support the recent reduction in alcohol guidance in the UK and raise questions about the current limits recommended in the US, say the authors.

Heavy drinking is known to be associated with poor brain health, but few studies have examined the effects of moderate drinking on the brain - and results are inconsistent.

So a team of researchers based at the University of Oxford and University College London set out to investigate whether moderate alcohol consumption has a beneficial or harmful association - or no association at all - with brain structure and function.

Read more (Department of Psychiatry website) 

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