What is alcoholic dementia?


Quick Answer

Alcoholic dementia is a condition that is commonly referred to as Korsakoff's syndrome, and it is a condition that affects the brain due to long-term consumption of alcohol. Although this condition is commonly caused by alcohol, it can also be caused by other factors, such as a severe deficiency of thiamine. Korsakoff's syndrome is also associated with certain infections, poor nutrition and AIDS, as stated by the Alzheimer's Association.

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What is alcoholic dementia?
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Full Answer

People who tend to drink excess alcohol may have thiamine deficiency due to many reasons. Alcohol usually interferes with the conversion of thiamine into a useful form. People may also have poor eating habits that lead to the deficiency. The deficiency can occur due to throwing up often, as this denies the body the vitamins it requires, according to the Alzheimer's Society.

Korsakoff's syndrome is usually closely linked to a condition called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which is an acute condition caused by a severe thiamine deficiency. Quick medical attention is necessary as this condition can lead to staggering, confusion, poor coordination and involuntary movements of the eye, according to the Alzheimer's Society.

Symptoms of Korsakoff's syndrome include poor memory and the inability to learn new things. It can only be diagnosed if a person avoids alcohol consumption for a particular period of time. Korsakoff's syndrome can be treated by quitting alcohol, taking doses of thiamine and ensuring a healthy diet, as stated by the Alzheimer's Society.

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