Ron Keren, MD, FRCPC, Clinical Director, University Health Network and Whitby Mental Health Centre Memory Clinics; Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
In recent years, a number of observational studies have shown that when consumed in moderation, alcohol may contribute to healthy living, reducing the risks of both coronary artery disease and dementia. While the ill effects of excessive drinking on cognition have been extensively described, there are no clinical or pathological consensus criteria defining alcohol-induced dementia. In fact, its existence as a distinct entity is controversial. More research on the effects of alcohol on the brain is needed in order to advise patients on the potential risks and benefits of alcohol consumption.
Key words: alcohol consumption, dementia, prevention, cognition, Wernicke-Korsakoff.