A study sought to determine whether the trajectory of learning and memory is modified according to an interaction between midlife or late life alcohol consumption status and the presence of one or more APOE e4 alleles. This was a secondary analysis of cognitive, genetic and alcohol consumption data collected from members of the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort.
Light and moderate alcohol consumption during late life was associated with greater decline in learning and memory among APOE e4 carriers, whereas light and moderate alcohol consumption was associated with an increase in learning and memory among non-APOE e4 carriers. There was not a significant interaction between midlife alcohol consumption status and APOE e4 on the trajectory of learning and memory.
The study conclusion was that light to moderate alcohol consumption during late life may protect against a decline in learning and memory for non-APOE e4 allele carriers, but not for older adults who carry one or more APOE e4 alleles.
Source: The Relationship Between Midlife and Late Life Alcohol Consumption, APOE e4 and the Decline in Learning and Memory Among Older Adults. Downer B, Zanjani F, Fardo DW. Alcohol Alcohol. 2013 Oct 8.