How To Treat And Prevent Alcoholic Dementia
Alcohol dementia treatment can be quite stressful for patients to undertake, but it is necessary to prevent more dangerous health problems and even death. The alcoholism treatment consists of IV therapies and infusions which attempt to reestablish the proper nutritional balance of the body. Patients need to stay in clinics or hospitals for certain periods where they will be closely monitored and treated. Alcohol must be avoided at all costs during the treatment period, a thing which most alcohol abusers find very hard to do. This happens because alcohol addicts have become so used to this toxic substance that the body craves it regularly. Alcoholism support groups are very helpful in these cases.
Dementia from alcohol abuse can also be treated with Thiamine therapy which brings the much-needed nutrients back into a sufferers body. This treatment improves the neurological functioning of the patient and prevents dementia from advancing to more dangerous stages. Patients must also receive proper counsel from professional therapists to discover the root causes of their alcohol addiction and to eliminate them. If proper treatment is administered on time, alcoholic abusers might have a chance of living an alcohol-free and happy life. The rehabilitation facility for alcoholics is the best option to contact to learn more about the recovery process.
Is There Testing For Alcohol
Several medical exams are performed to diagnose alcohol-related dementia. Some doctors may insist a person stop drinking before doing these exams, but most doctors do not.
Doctors will examine the nervous and muscular systems. They look for abnormal eye movement, increased pulse, and muscle weakness. Blood work is also typically done to check nutrition levels.
The Link Between Alcohol And Dementia
The effects of alcohol on the brain cells are already widely known. People who are inebriated exhibit poor judgment, have difficulty making decisions and demonstrate a lack of insight. Longtime alcohol abuse is also linked to nutrition problems that, in turn, affect the brain. For example, nutritional deficiencies can, over time, impact brain health.
Excessive drinking over many years can lead to alcohol-induced or alcoholic dementia , which can cause problems with memory, reading, and other cognitive problems.
Alcohol consumption is one type of dementia that is reversible with early management or treatment. But once alcoholic dementia reaches an advanced stage, it can be difficult or almost impossible to reverse. The reason is that, just like drugs, alcohol kills brain cells at a faster rate than aging alone.
In fact, a study revealed that people who consume five or more bottles of beer or a bottle of wine in one sitting during middle age are three times more likely to develop dementia by age 65 than those who have never engaged in binge drinking.
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Alcoholic Dementia Can Alcohol Use Cause Dementia
Alcohol use can cause several health complications. When a person drinks heavily for an extended period of time, he or she is at risk for a condition known as alcoholic dementia. Seeking treatment through a program like the ones offered at Vertava Health is the best way to prevent alcoholic dementia and other health problems as a result of alcohol use and addiction.
Chronic alcohol use can result in a number of health problems, including a condition known as alcoholic dementia. This condition is similar to Alzheimers disease and can severely impact a persons memory, cognition, and learning abilities. Individuals who use or are addicted to alcohol may need to seek treatment such as through an inpatient program offered by Vertava Health to avoid developing alcoholic dementia.
Can Alcohol Dementia Be Reversed Or Be Treated
Early detection and treatment of alcohol dementia may reverse or, if not, reduce the mental impairment if the person will abstain from drinking alcohol and started replenishing the body of the needed nutrients such as vitamin B and Thiamine.
Thiamine plays a crucial role not only because it supplies the needed energy of the brain to properly function but also serves as a combatant to reduce the toxic residue of the alcohol in the body.
With adequate Thiamine supplement, the body has a strong defence against the toxic of alcohol.
The person diagnosed with having alcohol dementia needs all the emotional support from his or her family, peers, colleagues, and community to properly cope with this struggling and stressful moment in their lives.
Alcoholics should not be left alone in their misery. Still, instead, they should feel that they are not alone in this battle and that they have all the support and love of their family members and friends.
This will give them the determination to proceed with the healing process and eventually recover from the disease.
Having a support system is crucial for the person to overcome this disease. Al-Anon or Alcoholics Anonymous is a group that can be lean on in this crucial time.
It provides support services to those who have alcohol problems or those who are already experiencing alcohol dementia.
How would you lend your hand to a friend or a loved one who is experiencing alcohol dementia?
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Areas Of The Brain Affected
There is evidence that the frontal lobes and sub-cortical areas such as the limbic system, the thalamus and the basal forebrain are particularly vulnerable to alcohol-related damage. The cerebellum is also vulnerable. Alcohol-related brain changes in the frontal lobes become more prominent with age. Emotional processing is affected by long-standing heavy alcohol use and dependence, and probably reflects abnormalities in the limbic system and the frontal lobes. This is manifested as difficulty with interpreting non-verbal emotional cues and recognizing facial expressions of emotion.
Alcohol-related brain damage has been studied using a variety of methods, ranging from the neuropathology of the post-mortem alcoholic brain to neuro-imaging techniques focusing on structural, functional and biochemical changes. There is also a considerable neuropsychological literature.
Is Alcohol Induced Dementia Reversible
Unlike most other forms of dementia, this type of damage can be halted and, in many cases, reversed if a person stops drinking alcohol and replaces thiamine that has been depleted due to alcohol intake.
Individuals who have recovered from Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome were only likely to stay episode-free if they abstained from alcohol.
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Alcohol Induced Dementia Is A Real Thing
Alcohol is one of Americas most abused substances. And as the name suggests, alcohol-induced dementia is a form of dementia caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Moreover, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , binge drinking, heavy drinking and other forms of alcohol use disorders are associated with an average of 88,000 deaths each year.
Alcohol is not only responsible for thousands of vehicular accidents every year, but the substance also causes damage to internal organs, especially to the liver and kidneys. Alcohol consumption increases the risk of multiple illnesses, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Therapies For Dementia And Alcoholism
Just like alcoholism, most people with dementia have irregular behavioral patterns. In addition, dementia causes psychological distress resulting in a decline in quality of life.
Although there are medications such as sedatives, antipsychotics, and antidepressants, the side effects cause most people to stop taking them. Various types of therapies are useful in treating the psychological and behavioral symptoms of dementia and alcoholism.
- Occupational therapy helps overcome functional impairments of dementia that affect daily life
- Physical therapy exercise can help with coordination and overall well-being by reducing falls, improving sleep, and treating depression
- Holistic therapy yoga and mindful meditation can induce calm and stillness
- Music and art therapy music therapy improves memory and well-being while art engages attention and meaningful stimulation
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A doctor will perform a physical exam to evaluate your mental processes. He or she will also ask you about any medications youre currently taking and any stressful situations youre facing. Your memory loss provider may also ask you about your symptoms and ask you to take notes on how youre feeling. The doctor may recommend that you get an appointment with a neuropsychologist. A neuropsychologist can help you figure out the best way to treat your memory loss.
A doctor will conduct a physical exam to determine the exact cause of your memory loss. He or she will also ask you about your medical history and whether youve experienced other forms of memory loss. After your medical history, your provider will discuss your options for treatment. If youre experiencing severe symptoms of memory loss, you should seek out a professional. It will help you get the right kind of care for your specific situation. So, take action today.
A healthcare provider will perform a physical exam to assess the condition of your memory. He or she will ask you about your family and friends and any medications youre taking. Once he or she has established the root cause, a proper treatment will be given. If you have a mild form of memory loss, you can still function independently and perform everyday tasks. If your symptoms are more severe, you may need to see a medical professional.
Korsakoff Syndrome Or Korsakoff Psychosis
This may be considered the worst form of alcohol dementia because the person is already experiencing psychosis and a severe degree of cognitive disorder.
The person starts to fabricate stories of which is known as confabulation fabrication.
The confabulation fabrication is the making up stories to fill up the memory gaps wherein the brain is no longer able to properly recognize the sequence of events in his or her life.
And to fill up the memory gap, the brain resorted to fabricating stories.
The fun part is that the fabricated stories tend to be detailed and believable. Nobody will suspect the story relayed is just a product of the brain having some memory lapses.
There is already a severe impairment in the cognitive and mental abilities of the person that he or she can no longer absorb and learn new things.
However, those abilities learned before can still be performed by the person.
A significant change in the person’s personality is noticeable. Often, people around them may misunderstand they’re already experiencing a form of psychosis, which is called Korsakoff syndrome or Korsakoff psychosis.
There is a great possibility that the person is suffering from this type of disease if he keeps repeating questions, stories, and information and fully unaware he is doing it.
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How Can Family Support Someone With Dementia And Alcoholism
No matter what type of alcohol-related dementia your loved one struggles with, family support is crucial in their daily life. Quitting alcohol by yourself is very challenging. With family support, a person is more likely to have a lasting recovery.
Adding the struggles of alcohol-related dementia means family support is even more important. Family members can help in the following ways.
- Provide them transportation to support groups and therapy for alcoholism
Is Alcoholic Dementia Reversible
With proper treatment and the right support system, those suffering from alcohol related dementia have the possibility to stop their symptoms from worsening, and may even be able to improve them over time. Quitting drinking, taking high doses of thiamine vitamin B1, and maintaining a healthy diet can help significantly improve an individuals symptoms. However, continuing to drink heavily and maintaining unhealthy habits will only increase the severity of their symptoms.
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Is Alcohol Worse For Your Memory Than Cannabis
Cannabis is also known to affect memory. Cannabis contains THC. THC attaches to receptors in areas of the brain that are involved in memory. In the short term, this can cause issues with verbal and working memory.
Verbal memory is the ability to recall anything that you hear or read. And working memory is the ability to hold small amounts of information in your memory and use it to perform cognitive tasks.
The long-term effects of cannabis on memory are still unknown. Experts believe that heavy, long-term cannabis use that starts at a young age may have effects on memory. More research is needed to understand how cannabis affects memory and if it is better or worse than alcohol.
Dementia And Alcoholism: An Unsavory Combination
Reviewed by Laura Riley
Alcohol is one of the most misused substances in the United States. According to the 2019 NSDUH, almost 15 million Americans over 12 struggle with alcohol use disorder. Unfortunately, alcoholism leads to various health problems. But, can alcoholism cause dementia?
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Who Is More At Risk Of Developing Alcohol
Based on a cross-study analysis, the following increases your risk for alcohol dementia:2
- If you are male
- If you have a dual diagnosis
- If you have other physical conditions that increase your risk for ARD
- If you are socially isolated
- If you have a history of brain injury
The presence of more than one risk factor increases the chances of developing alcohol-related dementia. Generally speaking, however, anyone with an alcohol disorder is at risk. This includes people who struggle with alcohol use and addiction.
Is Alcoholic Dementia a Normal Part of Aging?
The risk for dementia increases as you grow old. But contrary to popular belief, it isnt a normal part of aging.10
For instance, the average older adult may forget things from time to time. In comparison, someone with dementia will slowly forget how it’s like to perform basic activities.
At most, the memory problems caused by normal aging will inconvenience you. Dementia impairs cognitive ability in a way that it becomes difficult to function properly.
Talking About Alcohol Consumption Can Help
It can be very difficult to diagnose alcohol-related dementia. If a doctor is unaware of the person drinking too much alcohol over many years, they may not consider alcohol-related dementia as a possible diagnosis. The person may not get the right treatment and support, which is why it is important to tell doctors about drinking too much alcohol.
Ways To Get In Contact With Us
If you believe you or someone you love may be struggling with addiction, let us hear your story and help you determine a path to treatment.
There are a variety of confidential, free, and no obligation ways to get in contact with us to learn more about treatment.
Alcohol Misuse & Cognitive Decline
For some people, alcohol abuse and alcoholism result from psychological or social factors. They may drink to calm down or loosen up in social settings. Others use alcohol to cope with psychological issues or stress in their daily lives.
Alcohol abuse and alcoholism may also run in families. However, genetics doesnt guarantee a problem with alcohol. The exact causes of alcohol abuse and alcoholism are often unknown.
You shouldnt attempt to drive or operate heavy machinery while under the effects of alcohol.
The symptoms of alcoholism include:
- A strong desire or craving to drink
- An inability to control cravings
- An inability to stop drinking
- An increased tolerance for alcohol
- Lying about drinking
- Attempting to drink without others knowing
- An inability to get through everyday activities without drinking
The symptoms of alcohol abuse include:
- Drinking to relax
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Problems with family and friends because of drinking
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Having legal problems because of alcohol
People who abuse alcohol may deny a problem, but there are ways to recognize alcohol abuse in others. People who abuse alcohol may drink often and experience family, work, or school problems because of drinking. However, they may downplay their drinking or lie about the amount of alcohol they consume.
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Symptoms Of Alcohol Dementia
External manifestations are exhibited by an individual having alcohol dementia, such as the sudden change in the person’s personality, difficulty adapting, and learning new things.
There is a problem in remembering things, inability to have logical thinking such as organizing and planning.
There’s also a noticeable lack of initiative and spontaneity, an inability to maintain balance when it comes to posture.
Eventually, there is difficulty in establishing interpersonal relationships.
However, specific skills obtained and learned during his or her early days, such as mannerism, gestures, and language, are not affected and still can maintain a conversation and personal relationships.
What Are The Different Types Of Arbd
Usually a person is diagnosed with a specific type of ARBD. Depending on their symptoms, they may have one of several conditions, including:
The two main types of ARBD that can cause symptoms of dementia are alcohol-related dementia and WernickeKorsakoff syndrome. Neither of these are actual types of dementia, because you cannot get better from dementia, and there is some chance of recovery in both of these conditions.
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The Start And Progression Of Alcoholic Dementia
Dementia caused by alcoholism can appear to people of all ages, and it usually starts as a result of abusing alcohol regularly for many years. Alcohol addicts develop the Wernickes encephalopathy first, and then this causes the Korsakoff syndrome. Ultimately, the serious memory problems caused by Korsakoff syndrome will lead to alcoholic dementia. The process takes time to develop, but it can be an incurable disease. The Wernickes encephalopathy appears because heavy drinkers lose thiamine from the body as a result of frequent and long binge drinking episodes. Most alcohol addicts do not replenish this vital substance , and as a result, alcoholic dementia can appear.
Who Gets Alcohol Related Dementia
Anyone who drinks excessive amounts of alcohol over a period of years may develop these conditions, but most do not. It is not known why some very heavy drinkers develop dementia or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome while others do not. Diet and other lifestyle factors may play a role.
These conditions most commonly affect men over the age of 45 with a long history of alcohol abuse, though men and women of any age can be affected. The risk clearly increases for anyone who drinks high levels of alcohol on a regular basis for a long time.
The National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia recommends that to reduce the risk of all health problems related to alcohol, adults should drink no more than two standard drinks on any day. This limit applies to both men and women.
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