Over 60? Drink a beer, it could help you remember more
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Here’s some good news: If you’re over 60, having a few drinks can help protect you against forgetting important moments, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Texas Galveston, University of Kentucky and University of Maryland were able to draw a connection between “light” alcohol consumption and improved episodic memory — or memory of events.
The alcohol consumption is associated with a larger hippocampus, the portion of your brain associated with episodic memory. The amount of alcohol that was tested wasn’t enough to impact how well your brain controls your body or overall mental ability.
Alcohol stimulates the creation of nerve cells in the hippocampus, which could be how it works — these nerve cells increase the volume of this portion of your brain, which is directly related to your memory, these researchers found. Additionally, alcohol could stimulate the production of chemicals that improve cognitive function.
The drinking has to come later in life though: If you drank periodically in middle age but stopped when you got older, there was no effect on your memory.
So if you’re over 60, pour yourself a cocktail. Cheers!