Alcoholic Dementia: Symptoms, Progression, Treatment

Alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous if you abruptly stop drinking after consuming large amounts of alcohol for a long time. This article describes the causes of alcoholic dementia, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and coping. Morgan Blair is our expert medical reviewer, a licensed therapist, and writer with a master’s in clinical mental health counseling. Her work combines mental health advocacy and creative expression to provide valuable support for those on their mental health journey. is a patient-first health technology company driven by its mission to make optimal mental health attainable for everyone. With a focus on expanding care access, empowering patient choice, and enhancing care quality, the company delivers innovative solutions that support individuals throughout their mental health journey.

A 2013 study found that an estimated 78 percent of individuals diagnosed with AUD experience changes to the brain. Because they can engage in conversation, a person with WKS may appear normal at first glance. Alcohol withdrawal usually causes a person to have delirium, which can make them easily distracted and confused, disorientated, and prone to mood swings.

About the study

Excessive alcohol consumption leads to numerous health problems such as liver damage, stomach issues, impaired cognitive function, insomnia after drinking alcohol, dizziness, and more. If alcoholic beverages are consumed in large quantities over a relatively short period of times, most health problems can be cured relatively easily using special treatment and by quitting drinking. However, if one abuses alcohol throughout many years, this doesn’t only lead to liver cirrhosis, but also a condition called alcoholic dementia. This health condition usually results in improper neurological functioning and serious cognitive issues.

Alcohol use disorders have long been known to carry a long list of health issues. Behaviors can be unpredictable and uninhibited, and communication is difficult and could become impossible. Unlike many forms of dementia, alcohol-related dementia may be reversible depending on the circumstances.

How to Recognize Alcohol Dementia Symptoms and Seek Treatment?

In addition to these considerations, older people also tend to take more medications than younger people. These medications can potentially interact with alcohol, which can worsen symptoms. These situations can range from small, such as where a person put their keys, to large, such as forgetting what happened in night. According can alcoholism cause dementia to Duke University, the inability to remember anything from a night out usually occurs after a person has had five or more drinks. Some people experience what doctors call a blackout when they drink too much alcohol and don’t remember key details. Along with memory issues, there are a host of other cognitive issues.

  • The purpose of this article is to review current models on alcohol neurotoxicity and dementia and to analyze and compare studies focusing on the epidemiological link between alcohol consumption and the risk of dementia.
  • The symptoms of alcohol-related dementia and age-related dementia are fairly similar.
  • Consider attending a support group for sobriety such has Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
  • It is not clear why some people who drink too much alcohol develop ARBD, while others do not.
  • Alcohol can have a toxic effect on the brain, affecting normal function.
  • In order to make a diagnosis of alcohol-related ‘dementia’, a doctor may ask the person to do a paper-based test to check for problems with memory and thinking.
  • I have also aided in proofreading and publication of manuscripts in accredited medical journals.

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