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Alcohol abuse starting over age 40 could signal dementia

Individuals who start abusing alcohol later in life - after age 40 - may be doing so secondary to an underlying neurologic condition, such as frontotemporal dementia, according to a recent study. Overall, 1.7% of US older adults meet the definition of alcohol abuse - defined as when alcohol consumption negatively impacts work or social life or leads to legal ramifications. While lifelong alcohol abuse is a known risk factor for dementia, it has been unknown whether older adults who begin abusing alcohol late in life have an underlying neurodegenerative disease.

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