Alcoholic Dementia -Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Dementia is the loss of cognitive power of the body wherein a person loses memory or loses the sense of time or forgets people. It is a neurological disorder that usually onsets with age but there are some cases in which it occurs due to trauma to the brain. There are different forms of dementia the causes of which are varied. One among them is the alcoholic dementia or alcohol related dementia. It can be basically of two types: Alcoholic dementia –symptoms of which include inability to plan and usually appears like depression, caused by toxic effect of alcohol on the neurons or nerve cells over a long period of time. The other is the Wet Brain, also known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome – symptoms of which include loss of memory due to alcohol abuse for a long time, caused by thiamine or vitamin B1 deficiency in the body. The patient usually displays both types of symptoms. Alcoholic dementia usually occurs in older people aged above sixty five years. This is because the inception of dementia is sluggish and gradual. However it is possible to have the disease at a younger age also.

Alcoholic dementia symptoms are very much similar to that of other forms of dementia making it difficult to be identified at the onset. The symptoms are also similar to that of Alzheimer’s making it further difficult to be diagnosed. As alcohol abuse affects the neurological system of the body so a person suffering from alcohol generally have reduced or impaired motor controls. They are unable to coordinate the different body movements specially that of the hands and legs, thereby leading to shaking or disoriented movements. This hinders them from performing certain functions like getting dressed, performing things in an order etc. Slurring of the tongue is also witnessed in most cases. Alcohol addiction also starves the body of certain vital nutrients and vitamins. One such vitamin is the thiamine, the deficiency of which also leads to memory loss. The other alcoholic dementia symptom includes irritability, bad temper, melancholy or depression etc.

The effect of alcoholic dementia is more severe in man than in woman. But if treated at the right time can be reversed to a large extend. The treatment usually starts with complete refrainment from alcohol along with detoxification of the body .A nutritious and balanced diet is also the key to healing from this disease. Dietary supplements with the necessary vitamins especially thiamine or vitamin B1 in case of wet brain is also given. Along with these, love and care of the near and dear ones also acts as a great healer in this disease. Also from time to time certain tests are performed on the patient to check the patient’s ability to grasp new things and also to remember old ones. These tests are also done to find out whether the patient is suffering from alcohol dementia or wet brain because in the second case there is only short term loss of memory whereas the patient can perfectly remember his past.