Mark Espeland and colleagues at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in the US studied more than 7,000 older women and found that those who drink a moderate amount of alcohol have slightly higher levels of mental function than non-drinkers, particularly in verbal abilities, reported health portal News-Medical.
The study, available online in the journal Neuroepidemiology, found that compared to non-drinkers, women who reported drinking up to two or three drinks per day performed better on a measure of global cognitive function, which includes concentration, language, memory and abstract reasoning.
The women were strongest in verbal skills: those who reported having at least one drink a day did better on vocabulary tests and on a word fluency test asking them to generate a list of words beginning with a specific letter, it said.
But researchers said until scientists know more, women shouldn't change their drinking patterns.
'Until we better understand the reasons why alcohol consumption is associated with better cognitive functioning, these results on their own are not a reason for people who don't drink to start or for those who drink to increase their intake,' they said.
Source: IANS News