Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/18/booze_makes_you_clever/

Booze makes you clever, having none makes you stupid

UK alcohol duty turning us into nation of morons

By Lewis Page

Posted in Science, 18th August 2010 10:03 GMT

Drinking wine makes you brainier, according to the latest research - and going on the wagon makes you stupider, at least in the case of women.

The news comes in a new study carried out by boffins in Scandinavia. Some 5,033 Norwegians were followed over some seven years in which both their alcohol consumption and cognitive function were measured.

The study had good news for wine lovers, as "moderate" wine tipplers showed better results in the cognitive tests. Other types of booze had no effects either way, but stopping drinking altogether appeared to make the women in the study somewhat stupider.

Or, as the boffins put it:

Moderate wine consumption was independently associated with better performance on all cognitive tests in both men and women. There was no consistent association between consumption of beer and spirits and cognitive test results. Alcohol abstention was associated with lower cognitive performance in women.

Full details on the paper are available here courtesy of the learned journal Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, with the full article requiring subscription.

Other boffins at the Boston University Medical Centre in the States, commenting on the Scandy research, had this to say:

The results of this study support findings from previous research on the topic: In the last three decades, the association between moderate alcohol intake and cognitive function has been investigated in 68 studies comprising 145,308 men and women from various populations with various drinking patterns. Most studies show an association between light to moderate alcohol consumption and better cognitive function and reduced risk of dementia, including both vascular dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.

Presumably that's authoritative enough for anyone, and the present swingeing taxes on booze in the UK - with their devastating effects on the nation's health, intelligence, economic viability etc - will now cease. ®