A little tipple could help pensioners in independent living schemes stave off the onset of dementia, say researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
With the understanding that there is no cure yet for the degenerative neurological condition, scientists there looked for preventive measures that may limit its development in those who may have some cognitive decline.
After interviewing more than 3,000 people aged 75 or older, they found that the risk of dementia decreased by nearly 40 percent in those who had one or two drinks per day compared to teetotalers and those who drank more heavily.
"Our results suggest that older adults who are normal cognitively and drink moderately do not need to change their drinking behavior," said geriatrician Dr Kaycee Sink.
"If you have mild cognitive impairment however, it might benefit you to restrict your drinking and certainly not exceed one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men."
She added that she was "very excited" to see the protective benefits of moderate consumption, and is hopeful that it could be a basis for future prevention strategies.