How does alcohol affect Alzheimer's?

Brutune asked...

How does alcohol affect Alzheimer's and memory loss? Dad insists Mom have a glass of wine with me when I come to visit.

Expert Answer

Ladislav Volicer, M.D., Ph.D., is recognized as an international expert on advanced dementia care. He is a courtesy full professor at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, and visiting professor at the Third Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Twenty-five years ago, he established one of the first dementia special care units.

Persons who have Alzheimer's disease are more sensitive to effects of alcohol. However, there is not a specific effect of alcohol on memory if people do not abuse alcohol and do not develop vitamin B defficiency. One glass of wine a day may be actually good for your mother because small amounts of alcohol were shown to decrease the risk of heart attack and possibly also a stroke.