Alcohol use can either harm or protect your memory, depending on how much you consume. There is no question that heavy drinking contributes to memory loss. Excessive alcohol consumption is toxic to neurons and is the leading risk factor for Kor-sakoff's syndrome, a disorder caused by thiamine deficiency and characterized by sudden and usually permanent memory loss. On the other hand, research suggests that moderate alcohol consumption (one or two drinks per day) may help prevent dementia.
If you have been drinking heavily, discontinuing or sharply reducing your alcohol consumption can help prevent further memory loss and may permit the restoration of whatever loss you have already suffered. If you do not drink, I wouldn't recommend that you start to do so. Your memory won't suffer if you avoid alcohol, especially if you follow the other measures for maintaining optimal memory.
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