Alcohol and the Brain

This research report is a unique compilation of research on how alcohol affects the human brain throughout the life course. Overall, it shows that brain health benefits from avoiding alcohol. This applies both to occasional drinking as well as to intensive or regular consumption over time. The report highlights that alcohol affects all brain functions and that it impairs, for example, memory and intellectual ability. In addition, alcohol increases the risk of several brain diseases and injuries, for example fetal alcohol syndrome, accidents, stroke, and dementia. Reducing or avoiding alcohol intake is an important factor in preserving brain health. To get there, alcohol policy measures are required to reduce alcohol’s contribution to neurological, cognitive and psychiatric problems at the population level.