Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Midlife alcohol consumption and longitudinal brain atrophy: The PREVENT-Dementia study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Michael FirbankORCiD, Professor John O'Brien



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


BACKGROUND & AIMS: Consensus is lacking on whether light to moderate consumption of alcohol compared to abstinence is neuroprotective. In this study, we investigated the relationship between self-reported alcohol use and brain volume change over 2 years in middle aged subjects. METHODS: A sample of 162 subjects (aged 40-59 at baseline) from the PREVENT-Dementia programme underwent MRI scans on two separate occasions (mean interval 734 days; SD 42 days). We measured longitudinal rates of brain atrophy using the FSL Siena toolbox, and change in hippocampus volume from segmentation in SPM. RESULTS: Controlling for age and sex, there were no significant associations of either total brain, ventricular, or hippocampus volume change with alcohol consumption. Adjusting for lifestyle, demographic and vascular risk factors did not alter this. CONCLUSIONS: We did not find any evidence of influence of alcohol consumption on changes in brain volume over a 2 year period in 40-60 year olds.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Firbank MJ, O'Brien JT, Ritchie K, Wells K, Williams GW, Su L, Ritchie CW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Neurology

Year: 2020

Volume: 267

Pages: 3282-3286

Print publication date: 01/11/2020

Online publication date: 20/06/2020

Acceptance date: 12/06/2020

Date deposited: 11/06/2020

ISSN (print): 0340-5354

ISSN (electronic): 1432-1459

Publisher: Springer Medizin


DOI: 10.1007/s00415-020-10000-8


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
UK Alzheimer’s Society (Grant numbers 178 and 264)