Do you worry about memory loss and cognitive decline as you get older? Many people start to think about those issues as they move into mid-life and beyond, but you may need to start thinking about it much earlier if you consume a lot of alcohol. Alcoholic dementia is a medical condition that involves memory loss and impaired thinking or reasoning that is severe enough to interfere with your quality of life.
Someone with alcohol-induced dementia may act much like someone with other forms of dementia. They may struggle to recall names and remember events from the past. Their thinking process may slow to the point they have trouble communicating their needs and desires to others. Irritability, depression, and other mood issues may set in as the person tries to function in daily life.
It’s important to seek treatment from a medical professional immediately if you suspect someone you love suffers from alcoholic dementia. They will need to detox from the alcohol in order to receive proper examination and testing, but there is hope for partial recovery with maintained sobriety and a healthier lifestyle.
What Causes Alcoholic Dementia?
Alcohol-induced dementia is caused by damage to the brain that results from years of excessive alcohol consumption. The condition is also associated with low thiamine levels. While the symptoms are similar to Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia, this alcohol-induced version often sets in at a much younger age.
Research into alcoholic dementia is ongoing, but we still don’t have a list of specific criteria that might lead to its development. For instance, it’s unknown how much alcohol you might need to consume in order to damage your brain and trigger dementia symptoms. Those who consume alcohol regularly have different lifestyles, and there are many factors that could contribute to cognitive impairment.
Is Alcoholic Dementia Permanent?
While dementia that occurs naturally with age is permanent, there is hope of recovering at least partially from alcoholic dementia. Working with an alcohol addiction rehab center in Palm Springs, California, can put you on the fast track to recovery. You need to abstain from all alcohol consumption while consuming a nourishing diet and supporting your body with thiamine supplements and high-quality vitamins.
Think of it as nourishing the brain and making up for those years of nutritional deprivation. There is no guarantee that you will reverse all damage to your brain, but many patients do experience some level of relief with long-term abstinence from alcohol.
Alcoholic Dementia vs. Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
Alcoholic dementia and Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome are both forms of alcohol-induced brain damage, and low thiamine levels contribute to them both. The difference is in the cause and the speed of onset.
Alcohol-related dementia sets in gradually over time as the brain becomes more and more damaged. Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome can occur quickly and often sets in during or right after rapid alcohol detox. You’re much less likely to develop the syndrome if you seek medical attention and detox with professional guidance and supervision.
Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome starts with an episode of Wernicke’s encephalopathy, which presents the following symptoms:
- Memory loss
- Disorientation or confusion
- Weight loss due to malnutrition
- Eye muscle jerks or paralysis
- Lack of balance
When the encephalopathy isn’t treated immediately and properly, it will turn into Korsakoff’s Syndrome. That syndrome involves permanent brain damage that isn’t likely to reverse even if you stay sober for years. The good news is that recovery from the encephalopathy episode is possible with the right medical care.
Safe, Comfortable Alcohol Detox in Palm Springs
The Phoenix Rising alcohol detox center provides a safe place for anyone ready to move beyond their years of alcohol misuse. We have the programs that you need to move from excessive consumption of alcohol to complete renewal in mind, body, and spirit. The most important thing is that you seek professional care so that you don’t detox rapidly and put your brain at risk of thiamine deficiency and crippling damage.
Don’t allow alcohol to deter you from achieving your biggest goals in life. You can overcome your use of alcohol with the guidance of our well-trained, compassionate professionals. Give us a call at 855.232.8211 to move toward a life of serenity and complete recovery in Palm Springs, California.