Alcohol related dementia


Other than Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, another common type of dementia is alcohol related dementia. Alcohol related dementia is among the most disturbing and leading effects of chronic alcohol abuse. As the name suggests, alcohol dementia is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. This is because excessive alcohol consumption poses a threat to the central nervous system.

Alcohol related dementia has become an international epidemic that needs attention. Normally, alcohol causes much damage to the liver. However, with damage in the liver and vitamin deficiency, there can be brain shrinkage and brain damage.

For alcohol related dementia the memory is not really affected, rather it poses deterioration in intellectual function. Things that have been learned earlier in life or skills such as languages or gestures that are mostly used tend to not get affected. Despite alcohol related dementia being common to people at the ages from above fifty, it can also occur to people from the age of thirty, although at this age recovery is possible.

Abuse of alcohol causes general alcohol related dementia that slowly destroys brain cells. Korsakoff’s syndrome is however another form of alcohol related dementia that might cause destructions of certain parts of the brain.

Some of the symptoms that have been shown to be caused by alcohol related dementia although they can vary from person to person include:

  • Memory loss, which is a common sign to all types of dementia. Individuals with alcohol related dementia might experience memory loss or short-term memory.
  • People with alcohol related dementia find it difficult to perform routine tasks that are laid out for them.
  • Poor judgment.
  • Language impairment
  • Lack of insight
  • Change in personality.
  • People with alcohol related dementia might experience decreased spontaneity
  • Involuntary eye movements.
  • Some people may experience lack of muscle coordination

Alcohol related dementia has a number of psychiatric problems, which include;

  • Psychosis; psychosis causes individuals to perceive situations and things around them different from others. The two main symptoms of psychosis are; hallucinations, which cause individuals to see, feel or even smell things at times that are not really there. Delusions are also another form of psychosis. It is close to but not exactly paranoia.
  • Depression; depression is having moments where you feel low for weeks or months.
  • Anxiety; this is a situation in which you find it difficult to control your worries.
  • Changes in personality

Although alcohol can cause several forms of dementia, it does not cause Alzheimer’s disease. However, it has been proved that people who do not drink and those that drink moderately are a low risk of acquiring Alzheimer’s disease.

If alcohol related dementia is noted at an early stage, it can be eliminated. This is by reducing the alcohol consumption or rather generally abstaining from it and improving one’s diet by introducing vitamins.

After treatment from alcohol related dementia, it is advisable to refrain from consumption of alcohol. Generally, the remedy to avoid alcohol related dementia is to abstain from alcohol consumption and have a healthy diet.

Originally published at on September 20, 2016.