Any amount of alcohol can harm the brain, study suggests

Study authors hypothesize that ethanol is the ‘biological pathway to damage’
By Kayla Rivas | Fox News

Any amount of alcohol can cause damage to the brain, and more so than previously realized, according to a study in what researchers call one of the largest of its kind to date.

The preliminary findings from Oxford University were recently posted to medRxiv ahead of peer review, drawing on clinical data and imaging samples from over 25,000 adults in the U.K. Biobank study. Subjects were aged 40 to 69 years when they were first recruited from 2006 to 2010.

Nearly all participants were classified as current drinkers, while just 5.2% were non-drinkers, per the study. Almost half of participants were consuming alcohol at levels above U.K. ‘low risk’ guidelines, though few were considered heavy drinkers, researchers wrote. Through MRI analyses, the team looked for correlations between alcohol use and grey matter in the brain.

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