Paul and colleagues1 reported the results of a very interesting cross-sectional population-based study involving 1839 respondents aged 33 to 88 years without stroke or dementia from the Framingham Offspring Cohort. In this sample, there were no protective effects of alcohol in reducing the normal age-related differences in brain volume. Instead, higher levels of alcohol consumption were consistently associated with smaller brain volume after adjusting for covariates (age, sex, education, body mass index, and Framingham Stroke Risk Profile score). This association was modified by the participants' sex, with women showing larger total cerebral brain volume than men at every level of alcohol consumption. Paul and colleagues also found no significant correlation between alcohol consumption and white matter lesion volume.
Solfrizzi V, Frisardi V, Capurso C, D’Introno A, Colacicco AM, Vendemmiale G, Capurso A, Panza F. Moderate Alcohol Consumption, Apolipoprotein E, and Neuroprotection. Arch Neurol. 2009;66(4):538-542. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2009.35