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A drink every now and then is fine for your health—in fact, some research suggests that “up to one drink per day does not impair cognitive function and may actually decrease the risk of cognitive decline.” But excessive alcohol consumption is another story. Studies have found that alcohol abuse is “common” among older people and that it’s not beneficial for your brain or your lifespan. “In excess, alcohol intake can be damaging to the brain” said Michelle London, a neuropsychologist at Weiss Memorial Hospital.