By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Researchers in Europe find that both teetotalers and those who drink more heavily during middle age are at higher risk of dementia as they get older.

Researchers looked at 9,000 adults in the United Kingdom and found that people who abstained from alcohol were more likely to develop dementia as well as those who drank more than 14 glasses of wine a week. The more alcohol they drank, the higher the risk. And for those with an alcohol disorder, the risk of dementia doubled.

Researchers say drinking on one to eight drinks a week may benefit brain health but there are downsides to regular alcohol use like liver disease and cancer.

If you don’t drink, you shouldn’t necessarily start based on the results of this study, but if you do drink modestly, your brain may thank you.

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