A new study from Stanford University of Medicine, published on Dec. 12, has found that ‘Asian glow’ may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
‘Asian glow’ is a condition that causes people to develop flushes on their face and other areas of their body after consuming alcohol. The facial redness is caused by a mutation in aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 or ALDH2. That enzyme helps break down alcohol in the body and it is defective in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
The mutation is also most prevalent among East Asians and affects about 560 million people, or about 8 percent of the world’s population.
Findings from the study in the journal Acta Neuropathologica Communications, suggest that alcohol increases injury to brain cells, accelerates signs of Alzheimer’s in animals, and increases cell damage in patients with the disease.
“The science means that it is a bad idea if you have this mutation and have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease to drink excessively,” said Daria Mochly-Rosen, senior author of the study and a professor of chemical and systems biology at Stanford.