Alcohol Related Dementia How does alcohol Cause Dementia

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Alcohol related dementia – its causes and how it affects people

Alcohol related dementia is a medical condition which is sometimes referred to as Wernicke-Korsakoff’s Syndrome or Wet brain. It is caused by excessive drinking over a long period of time, which eventually leads to learning, cognitive and memory problems. The risks of developing alcohol related dementia are higher for people who abuse alcohol. Alcohol related dementia can set in really early, as early as age thirty but the most common ages is between age 65 and age 70.

How does alcohol abuse cause alcohol related dementia?

Alcohol might seem like a very nice and tasty drink but only for a short while. Alcohol has both direct and indirect effects on the brain. As soon as it gets into the body, it begins to interact with all the organs in the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. A long period of this negative interaction eventually affects the brain greatly and results in what is known as alcohol related dementia. It may also cause vitamin deficiencies (Vitamin B particularly), liver damage, brain shrinkage and eventually, brain damage .The vitamin deficiency is primarily due to the fact that most alcohol addicts have a poor diet.

Symptoms of Alcohol Related Dementia

The symptoms of alcohol related dementia are almost similar to those of the famous Alzheimer’s disease. Patients

lose their ability their cognitive function, as well as their ability to remember things correctly. Symptoms would also vary according to the stage of the illness. However, some common symptoms include:
• Memory problems.
• Inability to recall or acquire new information.
• Difficulty with speaking, writing and language generally.
• Inability to perform complex motor tasks and lack of muscle coordination.
• Depression.
• False memories and hallucinations.
• Impaired sight or eye problems like unequal pupils and involuntary eye movement.
• Paranoia, irritability and anger.
• Insensitivity to others.
• Inability to do tasks that were once familiar.
• Problems with finding words during a conversation.
• Disorientation which includes getting lost in familiar areas, inability to recognize people and loss of a sense of time.
• Hoarding of items.
• Refusal or inability to take proper care of oneself.

Stages of Dementia

The dementia stages of alcohol related dementia are similar to other dementia stages. The Global Deterioration Scale (GDS) is used by professionals to determine the progression of dementia in the patient and the scores would usually determine the stages of dementia.

Find extensive information about the Dementia Stages and the GDS  CLICK HERE

Treatment of Alcohol Related Dementia

Early detection is extremely crucial to the treatment of alcohol related dementia. The first thing patients are advised to do is to immediately cease drinking of alcohol and incorporate a very healthy diet in order to ensure that the lost vitamins, most importantly Thiamine is replaced. It is also important to see a doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.




Alzheimer’s Australia


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