Monday, March 17, 2008

It looks like wine is worse than beer

Drinking wine damages the brain more than beer or spirits, scientists claim.

They say it particularly affects the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with memory and spatial awareness, and one of the first areas to be affected by Alzheimer's disease.

It could explain why millions forget what they are doing mid-task, or arrive in a room only to forget why they went there in the first place.

The findings will come as a particular blow to middle-class drinkers – many of whom drink wine for its supposed health benefits.

Women, who tend to drink more wine than beer, are also more likely to be affected.

Recent figures show 36 per cent of women in pubs drink wine, compared to only 21 per cent of men.

Writing in the medical journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, the psychiatrists behind the study compared brain scans from diagnosed alcoholics with those from healthy adults.

They found the hippocampus, which is located deep within the brain's temporal lobes, was up to 10 per cent smaller in those who drank

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