By Mike Pomranz
Updated June 02, 2016
© Grant Faint / Getty

As the bar I went to the night before can attest when I call them in the morning to see if I left my credit card there, drinking beer isn’t very helpful for your short-term memory. But when it comes to one of the leading causes of severe memory loss in old age – Alzheimer’s disease – a small new study suggests the drinking of beer – and beer specifically – maybe be beneficial.

According to a recent study conducted by researchers in Finland and Sweden, drinking beer was associated with less aggregation of amyloid beta (Aβ) in the brain. Buildup of these protein pieces in the brain is one of the key neuropathological signs of Alzheimer’s disease. According to a news release, “The amount of alcohol consumed was not linked with Aβ aggregation, and neither was spirit or wine consumption.” Translation: After looking at the three major alcoholic beverages – beer, wine and spirits – beer was the only one that showed this correlation, regardless of the amount of beer actually consumed.

As is often the case, the small study has its limitations. The data set consisted only of “125 males participating in the Helsinki sudden death autopsy series, who at the time of death were 35 to 70 years old.” Also, alcohol consumption was determined by giving surviving relatives a questionnaire about the deceased’s drinking history, meaning all the drinking information was secondhand. Still, as the authors conclude, “Beer consumption may protect against Aβ aggregation in brain.”

Just to play it safe, maybe drink a beer every now and then – though maybe wait until after work, again, just to play it safe.