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How Can Drinking Wine Affect the Risk of Dementia?

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Many people believe avoiding alcoholic beverages is one way to keep the brain healthy. It was once believed that alcohol permanently damaged neurons and led to dementia. However, through ongoing investigations, researchers report there are pros and cons to drinking wine.

Vascular Health

Grapes contain an antioxidant known as resveratrol, which has been found to protect blood vessel elasticity that, in turn, helps adults maintain healthy blood pressure. The level of the compound is greater in red wine, as resveratrol is concentrated in grape skins, and creating red wine requires that the skins remain for an extended length of time. Resveratrol also reduces platelets’ ability to stick together, which lowers the chance of developing potentially harmful blood clots. A 2004 article in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that seniors who drink one glass of wine per day reap the benefits of resveratrol.

Vascular health is one of the vital factors in ensuring brain health and cognitive ability. High blood pressure has often been associated with increasing the risk of dementia. While moderate wine consumption is beneficial, overindulging has the opposite effect. Drinking three or more glasses of wine a day leads to elevated blood pressure. Even binge drinking poses a problem. Over time, hypertension may become a chronic issue. 

Seniors with dementia often need assistance with everyday activities. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Cognitive Health

Scientists from the University of California School of Medicine believe the protective qualities of resveratrol also enhance cognitive health. The researchers performed a study on a group of men and women aged 66 to 82. The seniors were all diagnosed with mild memory impairment and dementia symptoms. The researchers divided the group in half. One group consumed a freeze-dried product made from wine grapes every day. The compound dose was equal to drinking 1.5 glasses of red wine. The other group received a placebo. The study concluded that the seniors who received resveratrol had reduced brain inflammation and demonstrated higher cognitive function compared to the control group.

Seniors with dementia, no matter what the cause, can optimize their quality of life with the help of a highly trained, experienced professional caregiver. If your senior loved one needs professional dementia care, Palm Desert caregivers are available around the clock to provide the high-quality care he or she needs. Using the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, dementia caregivers can help your loved one stay mentally engaged and delay the progression of the disease.

Protein Buildup

Researchers published an article in the 2018 issue of the Journal of Neuroinflammation explaining how alcohol consumption may lead to dementia. Within the brain, amyloid and tau proteins are commonly present. Biological housekeeping actions keep the proteins within normal limits, but the scientists found that when seniors drink wine or other alcoholic beverages, the proteins aren’t eliminated, which leads to the tangles that interfere with neuron function and cause dementia.

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that up to 20 percent of senior citizens are alcoholics. People with alcohol dependence commonly don’t consume a healthy diet, which leaves them malnourished. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome involves a severe vitamin B1 or thiamine deficiency, which leads to neuron damage in the hypothalamus and thalamus regions of the brain. When these areas don’t function properly, seniors may experience confusion, memory loss, and a variety of physical symptoms. Some researchers believe that if the syndrome continues, the older adult may succumb to Wernicke’s encephalopathy, which can be life-threatening.

If your loved one is living with dementia, having a trained professional caregiver close by can provide you and your family with much-needed peace of mind. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. Palm Desert families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (760) 345-0001 to learn about the high quality of our in-home dementia care services.