The most harmful effects caused by alcohol abuse includes persistent dementia caused by excessive alcohol intake. People risk long term negative health effects when they abuse alcohol. A severe amount of damage can be caused to the mind and body as alcohol is a toxic substance. The good news is that if one stops drinking alcohol, some of these damages can be reversed.
This type of dementia is related to Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome which is also known as wet brain. Such dementia affects one’s cognitive functioning and memory and presents itself similar to Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia caused by alcohol resembles dementia associated with ageing and it difficult to diagnose especially in people aged 65 and over. People that abuse alcohol tend not to eat properly which in turn causes a deficiency in particular vitamin B1.
Studies have shown that around 80 percent of alcoholics have a thiamine deficiency which in turn increases their chances of developing persistent dementia caused by excessive alcohol intake. Other terms used to describe this type of dementia include wet brain, alcohol related dementia and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Symptoms include false memory, inability to learn new information or recall previously learned information.
Symptoms also include apraxia whereby the person is unable to carry out purposeful movements, they suffer from mental confusion and they at times are unable to remember certain words. They display signs of paranoia and agitation, appear disorientated, have a fear of being left alone, and have problems recognizing people and objects. They may appear drowsy and may stagger when they walk. In such instances a persons requires rehabilitation.
A person suffering from persistent dementia caused by excessive alcohol intake will also display personality changes, and may have hallucinations. They are inclined to elaborate when describing a situation and are not able to keep track of time. The key symptom is memory loss as they will not display all the above mentioned symptoms. The lack of thiamine causes the most sever damage and leads to brain atrophy as B1 is a nutrient that aids the nerve cells to function properly.