Moderate Alcohol in Older Adults: A Preliminary Study

  • Nixon, Sara (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Despite the recognition that the cohort of older adults continues to increase, that older adults remain socially and professionally engaged for longer periods of time and that alcohol may adversely interact with common medications and various functions, systematic research on moderate alcohol use in older populations is remarkably limited. It is restricted by narrow test batteries, the inclusion of largely male samples and/or the failure to recruit representative samples. This revised pilot study was designed to address some of these limitations. Specifically, it would provide critical preliminary data regarding the effects of the acute administration of moderate alcohol and the effects of continued moderate drinking on neurocognitive, neurophysiological, and psychomotor performance as well as psychosocial functioning and adaptation. To complete this initial work, 148 older moderate drinkers between the ages of 56 and 70 will be evaluated. 132/148 will be tested under a double-blind placebo-controlled design. The remaining 16 (8 male/8 female) will comprise a comparison group to be tested under control conditions where alcohol is neither expected nor administered, Because older women are a particularly understudied group, every attempt will be made to recruit equal numbers of male and female drinkers. Data collected from this study will provide critical information regarding the effects of acute, moderate doses of alcohol on older drinkers in a variety of domains and will also provide comparison data with younger substance abusing and community control subjects evaluated in our on-going work. This project, by ensuring appropriate protocol development, training, pilot work and initial data collection, would provide the necessary foundation for the further development of an aging focus in our on-going research program.
Effective start/end date9/30/038/31/06


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