comes from the Greek word "athero" (gruel or paste) and "sclerosis,"
or hardness. Fatty deposits and other substances, or plaque,
accumulate in the artery's inner lining, and are more prone
to occur when a person ages. This can cause blockage of blood
flow or clot different blood vessels, which can eventually
lead to a heart attack or stroke.
A group of 1,909 middle-aged adults underwent cerebral MRI
exams. The study found that White matter lesions and ventricular
and sulcal size increased as alcohol consumption increased.
Lead researcher Jingzhong Ding explained: "There is no brain
tissue in the ventricular and sulcal areas, as these areas
are filled with cerebrospinal fluid. Therefore, an increase
in ventricular and sulcal size indicates a reduction in the
brain tissue, or brain atrophy, around the ventricular and
Previously, the Cardiovascular Health Study, sponsored by
the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, found that moderate
alcohol intake was associated with fewer brain infarcts (dead
tissue). This study adds to this existing evidence, and the
researchers note that "the process might begin earlier in
life than [previously] suggested."
Ding J, Eigenbrodt ML, Mosley TH, Hutchinson RG, Folsom AR,
Harris TB, Nieto FJ. Alcohol intake and cerebral abnormalities
of magnetic resonance imaging in a community-based population
of middle-aged adults. Stroke 2004:35, pp16-21.
For more information on general health, visit www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/general.