Binge drinking can cause cognitive decline- such as dementia- among the older adults, suggested two studies presented in the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2012 in Vancouver.
The study conducted by the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD) and the University of Exeter revealed that binge drinkers were 62 percent more likely to experience decline in their cognitive function and 27 percent were more likely to experience memory decline.
"We know binge drinking can be harmful: it can increase the risk of harm to the cardiovascular system, including the chance of developing heart disease; and it is related to an increased risk of both intentional and unintentional injuries. However, until we conducted our study it was not clear what the effect was of binge drinking on cognitive function and the risk of developing dementia," said Dr Iain Lang at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, in a statement.
The study was conducted on more than 5,000 participants aged above 64 in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) from 2002 to 2010.
Scientists found that 8.3 percent of men and 1.5 percent of women binge drink every month and 4.3 percent of men and 0.5 percent of women binge drink twice a month.
Participants who binge drink twice a month were two and half times more likely to experience decline in their cognitive function and memory, compared to participants who drank once in a month.
"That's a real worry because there's a proven link between cognitive decline and risk of dementia. Those who reported binge drinking at least twice a month were more than twice as likely to have higher levels of decline in both cognitive function and memory," said Dr Lang.
"We need to know more about what factors actually raise and lower risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. To do that, we need longer term studies in larger and more diverse populations, and we need more research funding to make that happen," said William Thies, chief medical and scientific officer at the Alzheimer's Association.