Simply put, long-term alcohol use can wreak havoc on the brain cells, which can result in severe impediments to judgement, cognition, and decision-making. An additional problems alcohol abusers and alcoholics can face is malnutrition as a result of poor dietary practice, due to the simple fact that vitamin deficiencies can inflict tremendous damage on the brain. Although some of the side effects can easily be overcome through addiction therapy and dietary changes, some people who engage in excessive drinking for many years can fall victim to a particularly nasty mental disorder called alcoholic dementia. Patients who suffer from this tragic mental disorder will suffer from severe cognitive problems and will experience symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s or dementia. Let’s take a closer look at this sickness and find out some more information.
What Is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome?
Once classified as alcohol-induced major cognitive disorder (DSM-5), Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome is one of the most dangerous types of alcoholic dementia and is a term that reference to two comorbid brain diseases. Wernicke’s encephalopathy inflicts severe damage to the hypothalamus and the thalamus. Meanwhile, Korsakoff psychosis takes place when memory centers of the brain sustain tremendous trauma and are permanently damaged.
While scientists have ruled out alcohol as a primary cause of this disorder, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome does frequently take place in brains that are thiamine (vitamin B1) deficient, a problem among heavy alcoholics. Without thiamine, the brain cannot produce a substantial and life-saving amount of sugar, and, as a result, its neural network will not function to its full capacity.
Symptoms of Alcoholic Dementia
Research and observations have proven (time and time again) that confusion is one of the early warning signs of dementia, accompanied by severe memory problems. Although people suffering from dementia may recall people, places, or events from the past, they are unable to remember anything that took place in the past couple of minutes at a given time. Dementia patients will appear to be in full control, but their memory centers will start to falter.
Here are some of the symptoms of Wernicke encephalopathy:
- Confusion and deceased mental activity
- Poor coordination of the muscles
- Uncontrollable eye movements and vibrations
- Double vision
- Drooping eyelids
- Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal
Now, here are the symptoms of Korsakoff psychosis:
- Incapability of creating new memories
- Mild to severe memory loss
- Confabulation (making up stories to cover up memory loss)
- Delusions or hallucinations
Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse will only result in pain and suffering if left untreated. Remember though, this intoxicating drug does not have control over your life. Are you suffering from a severe case of alcohol abuse or alcoholism? Is your friend or loved one coping with this same, dreadful sickness? In both cases, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the rehabilitation process and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle.
If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your alcohol abuse or addiction troubles today. The time to take back control of your life is now.