A study published in Stroke, an academic medical journal, associates artificially-sweetened beverages with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, all-cause dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease dementia.

From the study’s abstract:

Results—After adjustments for age, sex, education (for analysis of dementia), caloric intake, diet quality, physical activity, and smoking, higher recent and higher cumulative intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks were associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, all-cause dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease dementia. When comparing daily cumulative intake to 0 per week (reference), the hazard ratios were 2.96 (95% confidence interval, 1.26–6.97) for ischemic stroke and 2.89 (95% confidence interval, 1.18–7.07) for Alzheimer’s disease. Sugar-sweetened beverages were not associated with stroke or dementia.

Researchers caution that sugar-sweetened beverages are still not the best choice and recommend drinking water instead.

USA Today reports:

A study published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke found a daily diet soda puts a person at three times the risk of dementia and stroke compared to someone who drinks less than one a week.

It’s another blow to diet soda, which has been the subject of recent unflattering studies. Purdue University found in 2013 it doesn’t actually help us lose weight. Another 2007 study discovered those who drink diet soda are no less at risk of heart disease than those who drink regular soda.

In fact, the Stroke study found drinking sugary drinks such as soda and fruit juice, doesn’t increase a person’s risk of stroke and dementia. Researchers caution that’s not a call to go buy sugary drinks, which Harvard has linked to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

“Although we did not find an association between stroke or dementia and the consumption of sugary drinks, this certainly does not mean they are a healthy option,” explained Dr. Matthew Pase, study author and a senior fellow at the Boston University School of Medicine. “We recommend that people drink water on a regular basis instead of sugary or artificially sweetened beverages.”

Watch the report: