Even Moderate Drinking May Shrink Your Brain

Study links alcohol to brain shrinkage
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Oct 14, 2008 5:30 PM CDT
Moderate drinking may help prevent heart disease but it can cause brain shrinkage, which is linked to dementia.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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(Newser) – That nightly glass of wine may be good for the heart, but apparently not for the brain. Researchers say that those who imbibe, even in moderate amounts, end up with slightly smaller brains, Health.com reports. The finding surprised scientists, who were seeking evidence that alcohol actually prevented such shrinkage. Abstainers fared best, averaging brains 1.5% larger than those of heavy drinkers in the study of nearly 2,000 people.

"We're talking very small differences here," says a doctor, who adds that "we have a long way to go to figure out the implications."