Binge drinking increases risk of dementia

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1 1 Key words Fill the gaps in the sentences using these key words from the text. dementia condition binge drinking epidemic diagnosis brain damage liver priority cope with reduce 7. If you give something, it is more important than anything else. If you something, you make it smaller or less in size, amount or importance. A medical is an illness or health problem. is drinking a lot of alcohol over a short period of time. The is an organ in your body that cleans your blood. An is a situation in which a large number of people are suffering from a disease. is a serious illness that affects the brain and memory and is particularly common in old people. 8. If you suffer from, your brain does not function correctly because of an accident or an illness. 9. A is a statement made after a medical examination of a person about what disease that person has. 10. If you a problem, you deal with it successfully. 2 Find the information Look in the text and find this information as quickly as possible. How many people in the UK suffer from dementia? How many dementia sufferers in the UK have Alzheimer s disease? If you drink more than two drinks a day, how much earlier can Alzheimer s disease begin? According to the Alzheimer s Society, what percentage of dementia cases are directly caused by alcohol? In which two countries is Korsakoff s syndrome becoming more common? How many drinks can help protect against dementia?

2 Binge drinking increases risk of dementia More under-65s and women in particular will suffer alcohol-related brain damage, say doctors Denis Campbell, health correspondent 10 May, 2009 Heavy drinking could be the cause of one in four cases of dementia, a serious brain condition which leads to a loss of memory. Doctors have identified a connection between drinking alcohol and dementia in between 10 and 24% of the 700,000 people in the UK who have the disease. They say that binge drinking and increased use of alcohol will probably produce an epidemic of alcohol-related brain damage in the future, with drinkers beginning to experience serious memory problems in their 40s. Women who drink a lot are in much greater danger than men of suffering problems because their bodies are less able to cope with the effects of alcohol. It is well-known that alcohol kills brain cells, but an article in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism says that the problem may be much more common than people think. The increase in the amounts that people drink means it is probable that the amount of alcohol-related brain damage is greater than we thought and may rise in future generations, say the authors of the article. Dr Jane Marshall, one of the co-authors of the report and a consultant psychiatrist at a hospital in London, said: People think that dementia is something that happens to people over the age of 6 But a lot of those under 65 have got memory problems and a large number of the problems in that group are related to alcohol. Alcohol-related brain damage may be the cause of 10-24% of all cases of all forms of dementia. We know that alcohol is associated with serious problems. It reduces memory and general awareness, she added. These findings follow research in America last year which showed that drinking more than two drinks a day can cause Alzheimer s to begin by up to 8 years earlier. Two thirds of all the 700,000 people in the UK with dementia have Alzheimer s. Drink is more likely to cause dementia in women than men because women have more body water and less body fat, which means that they process alcohol differently and are in more danger as a result, said Marshall. Women who drink the same as men are in more danger of loss of memory for that reason, in the same way that they are in more danger of getting alcohol-related liver disease. However, if a heavy drinker of either sex stops drinking alcohol, their brain cells will regenerate and there will be an improvement in key areas of brain activity. Gayle Willis of the Alzheimer s Society said: We know that the use of alcohol over a long period of time can lead to memory problems. Only one third of the people with Alzheimer s are actually diagnosed with the disease but the problem of under-diagnosis of people with alcohol-related memory loss could be even greater. But the society believes that only a few cases of dementia, perhaps as few as 3%, are directly caused by alcohol. Marshall and her colleagues studied Korsakoff s syndrome, a rare form of dementia linked to alcohol use, which leads to short-term memory loss, changes in behaviour and confusion. It is becoming more and more common in Scotland and the Netherlands, especially among poorer people with poor diets. One study of people suffering from the condition found that half of them were under the age of 50. Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: It is a real worry that some clinical staff do not recognize the important link between alcohol and dementia, because if the early signs of the condition are diagnosed quickly, it is possible to treat it. It is very important that we improve understanding among doctors and nurses about the links between heavy drinking and damage to the nervous system. It is equally important that people understand that alcohol-related brain damage can happen at any time of life.

3 10 Other research has shown that drinking up to two drinks a day, can help protect against dementia. Dr Allan Thomson, the guest editor of Alcohol and Alcoholism, has written to the UK public health minister, warning that the National Health Service must give alcohol-related brain damage the same priority it has given to liver problems linked to heavy drinking. Guardian News & Media 2009 First published in The Observer, 10/05/09 3 Comprehension check Match the beginnings and endings to make sentences about the text. Dementia is a serious brain condition which Doctors can treat dementia if The number of people suffering from alcohol-related brain damage Women who drink a lot Women are in more danger because The use of alcohol over a long period of time can a. b. c. d. e. f. their bodies are less able to cope with alcohol.... cause loss of memory. leads to a loss of memory. will probably rise in future generations. are in more danger than men. they diagnose the early signs of the disease quickly.

4 4 Chunks Rearrange the words to make phrases from the text. the over people 65 age of 8 earlier to up years few perhaps as 3% as 50 the under of age period of over long a time time any at life of 5 Phrases with prepositions Complete the phrases from the text using these prepositions. of in to the future people their forties loss memory danger lead serious problems up 4 years earlier 7. the use alcohol 8. a rare form the disease 6 Word building Complete the table. verb lose connect improve behave confuse diagnose noun

5 KEY 1 Key words priority reduce condition binge drinking liver epidemic 7. dementia 8. brain damage 9. diagnosis 10. cope with 2 Find the information 700,000 two thirds up to 8 years 3% Scotland and the Netherlands up to two a day 3 Comprehension check c f d e a b 4 Chunks people over the age of 65 up to 8 years earlier perhaps as few as 3% under the age of 50 over a long period of time at any time of life 5 Phrases with prepositions in in of in to to 7. of 8. of 6 Word building verb noun lose loss connect connection improve improvement behave behaviour confuse confusion diagnose diagnosis

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