Healthier drinking choices and cognitive decline in older risky drinkers

Published on: July 3, 2020

Alcohol consumption is a key modifiable risk factor associated with dementia and cognitive decline. However, recent reviews have noted a scarcity of interventions focusing on the prevention of problematic alcohol use in older adults. To address this significant gap in the literature, this world first study aims to determine whether an online alcohol intervention adapted for older adults can slow cognitive decline and reduce risky alcohol consumption in older risky drinkers.

Participants will be randomised to receive the online alcohol intervention (Healthier Drinking Choices; n = 393) or directed to an online booklet providing information on the harms associated with risky alcohol use (active control group; n = 393). Over a 12-month follow-up period, it is hypothesised that the online intervention will be more effective than the active control in reducing the rate of cognitive decline, reducing alcohol consumption and related harms, and improving quality of life.

By focusing on preventing risky alcohol use in later life, this project has the potential to uncover exciting new avenues in dementia prevention.

Meet the Team

Dr Mewton is a UNSW Scientia Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing.

Her program of research focuses on the application of innovative methods, techniques and technologies to further our understanding of the epidemiology, assessment and prevention of problematic alcohol use across the lifespan.