What You Need to Know About Alcohol-Related Dementia

Regular incidents of bingeing alcohol could result in brain damage like alcohol-related dementia. People with this condition experience a rapid reduction in cognitive ability, mood swings and an overall difficulty in achieving everyday tasks.

What Causes Alcohol-Related Dementia?

A study found that heavy drinking places people three times more at risk of dementia. One of the theories presented is that heavy drinkers have a thiamine deficiency. How it works is alcohol damages the lining of your intestines, making it more difficult for your body to absorb thiamine. In turn, heavy drinkers can be susceptible to a rare form of dementia called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

Alcohol abuse can also lead to white matter loss in the brain, impacting its prefrontal cortex, cerebellum and hypothalamus. The result is akin to a bunch of people (parts of the brain) standing near one another, but being totally unable to communicate. It leads to diminished function, such as processing information slower.

Symptoms of Alcohol-Related Dementia

Those incurring this illness could exhibit some of the following traits:

  • They might become easily distracted when trying to achieve simple tasks.
  • They are also prone to emotional outbursts. It can result from frustration from an inability to achieve common tasks.
  • Memory issues are another problem for those with this condition. They might not recall conversations they recently had. Or they struggle to retain new information.
  • They might also have difficulty with balance. Alcohol can damage the part of the brain that controls posture and balance.
  • You might also witness a decrease in energy or drive. They might feel a lack of motivation since they struggle with everyday items.

What are the Risk Factors?

Moderate alcohol consumption on its own will not cause dementia. It is when a person engages in heavy drinking that they create risk. Studies are ongoing for how much is too much alcohol. As a general guide, binge drinking happens when you bring your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 or higher. For men and women, it is consuming five or four drinks respectively within two hours.

Help Tailored to Your Needs

There is good news. Studies show that some white matter can recover once alcohol abuse ends. And we want to help you on your way to recovery.

The team at Cumberland Heights takes a personalized approach to your recovery. That way, we can provide you with care that addresses the root cause of the drinking. We’ll work with you as you make strides towards recovery. If you’re ready to talk, reach out to us to learn more about our inpatient or outpatient programs. You deserve to break free from addiction.