Understanding Alcoholic Dementia

Alcohol dementia is an alcohol-induced neurocognitive disorder. This is a long-term/ prolonged dementia caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Usually, the excessive consumption of alcohol damages the brain’s cognitive function.

As such, this leads to decreased cognitive capabilities and is often marred with personality changes, memory disorders, and distorted reasoning. This is why you need the support of facilities such as Mallard Detox to help you overcome the addiction that could lead to dementia and other mental illnesses.

What Causes Alcohol Dementia

In most cases, consumption of alcohol in moderate amounts will not lead to cognitive concerns such as dementia. However, excessive consumption, more so in old age, can trigger such complications. This happens because of the brain’s structural changes and other conditions, such as eating disorders, dietary deficiencies, and lifestyle choices. In most cases, the condition affects people with a deficiency in Vitamin B1 or thiamine, which is also very common among alcoholics.

Research has also proven that alcoholism has been a leading contributor to the early onset of dementia. This was concluded after a large-scale study carried out in a period from 2008 to 2013. The study involved over 30 million patients in French hospitals hence the solid conclusion.

The study focused on the relationship between alcohol consumption and dementia, where it was discovered that excessive or uncontrolled consumption of alcohol often leads to cardiometabolic disease, a high-risk factor for dementia development. Different studies involving men aged 28 to 35 have also revealed that excessive consumption of alcohol has also led to cases of dementia among men.

Prevalence of Dementia

Dementia is a major cause of concern if you consider that over 7 million people above 65 in America tend to suffer from dementia. Demographics continue showing how people have struggled with dementia over the years.

Signs of Alcohol Dementia

Most people do not realize the seriousness of dementia triggered by alcohol because it happens gradually and over time. Alcohol makes it worse if it is left untreated for a long. Usually, the kind of dementia that affects alcoholics is the one that is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin B1.

It often affects heavy alcohol drinkers and is characterized by visual challenges and exaggerated a story which is often a symptom of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Common signs of alcoholic dementia include:

  • Loss of executive and planning abilities.
  • Inability to carry out complex motor tasks (e.g., getting dressed).
  • Speech impairment.
  • Unexplained personality changes.
  • Confusion and difficulty are thinking clearly or logically.
  • Reduced capacity to learn new things.
  • Memory issues and trouble processing new information. 
  • Difficulties with balance.
  • Lower levels of initiative and spontaneity.
  • Depression and irritability
  • Paranoia and hallucinations
  • Disregard the consequences of actions.

Relationship Between Alcohol and Dementia

It is not easy to explain how alcohol leads to dementia. The process is complex and involves some level of deficiency and toxicity. It is important to get a proper diagnosis to ascertain that the dementia one suffers from is triggered by alcohol consumption.

If you are unsure what to do or suspect that your alcohol consumption could lead to dementia if not stopped, reach out for help. Call us to help you start your recovery journey today.