Drinking This Much Alcohol Can Slash Your Dementia Risk, Study Finds

80% of alcoholics suffer from a lack of thiamine, resulting in loss of white matter, damage to the gut and cellular function, all leading to alcohol related dementia [2]. Improvement can take several weeks or months to be felt, and many people will remain in the hospital or treatment facility until their major https://ecosoberhouse.com/ symptoms subside. Individuals who have been diagnosed with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome may never regain complete cognitive function. As the disease progresses, individuals will experience worsening symptoms of alcoholic dementia. Each condition related to alcoholic dementia will cause different symptoms.

  • This article describes the causes of alcoholic dementia, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and coping.
  • It can be beneficial to work with a social worker who is experienced in managing alcoholic dementia and who can guide you and provide you with advice, support, and resources as you cope with this condition.
  • Prolonged and heavy alcohol use causes brain cell death, which can cause certain areas of the brain to shrink.
  • The link between alcohol and dementia (or lack thereof) in non-drinkers however is not fully understood and individuals who do not currently drink alcohol should not start as a method of protection against the development of dementia.
  • Alcohol dementia treatment can be quite stressful for patients to undertake, but it is necessary to prevent more dangerous health problems and even death.

In addition, alcohol misuse or alcohol use disorder can strain relationships with family members, friends, and others. At the extreme, heavy drinking can contribute to domestic violence and child abuse or neglect. Alcohol use is often involved when people become violent, as well as when they are violently attacked. If you feel that alcohol is endangering you or someone else, call 911 or obtain similar help right away. And not all who misuse alcohol or have alcohol use disorder drink every day.

Risks & Causes of Dementia

Additionally, the term alcohol-induced persistent dementia is another nonspecific name that is sometimes used. Some research has indicated that individuals who drank in moderation were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or any other form of dementia than those who consumed zero alcohol. Supporting a person with alcohol-related ‘dementia’ can be challenging for their carer, friends and family.

  • Excessive, prolonged consumption can cause a vitamin deficiency, which can cause parts of the brain to deteriorate.
  • Long-term heavy alcohol use also causes reduced levels of thiamine (vitamin B1), which is necessary for proper brain functioning.
  • Available epidemiological studies are not sufficient to verify a protective effect of alcohol on dementia development.
  • A thiamine deficiency over a long period of time can cause brain atrophy or damage.

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To investigate the association of comprehensive patterns of changes in alcohol consumption with the incidence of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer disease (AD), and vascular dementia (VaD). The results are reported in the April 4 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Effects of Alcohol on Alzheimer’s Pathology

A 2016 study found that heavy drinking, equating to eight or more drinks per week, and drinking liquor increased cognitive decline among people with AD. Alcohol itself does not cause Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome as much as the damage to the brain cells that takes place with a thiamine deficiency (vitamin B1). People with severe alcohol use disorder tend to have nutritional deficiencies from a poor diet. Alcohol dementia treatment can be quite stressful for patients to undertake, but it is necessary to prevent more dangerous health problems and even death. The alcoholism treatment consists of IV therapies and infusions which attempt to reestablish the proper nutritional balance of the body.

A study found that long term consumption of over 14 units of alcohol per week had a higher risk of developing alcohol related dementia than those who consumed less than 14 units per week for the same amount of time [9]. However, these studies vary in their results due to the differences in the regularity of assessments, definitions of consumption amounts, length of the studies, and changes in consumption throughout lifetimes. As such, it is not clear if mild to moderate alcohol use can decrease the risk of dementia, although it is widely accepted that this level https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/relation-between-alcohol-and-dementia/ of alcohol use does not increase the risk [3]. Excessive alcohol use can cause damage to the brain which can lead to the development of dementia. To reduce this risk, it is recommended to follow guidelines around safe levels of alcohol consumption or to engage in treatment for alcohol use disorder if you are concerned about the quantity you consume. Fifth, caution is required when applying our results to ethnic groups other than Korean individuals, because the genetic background for alcohol metabolism39 and drinking culture vary depending on ethnicity.

Do You Have an Alcohol Problem?

However, unlike dementia, it is possible to improve or recover from these conditions with appropriate treatment and abstaining from alcohol use, thereby improving cognitive function, and reducing the risk of dementia [6]. The Korean National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) is a single insurer administered by the Korean government. The NHIS provides a free biennial cardiovascular health examination to all insured individuals aged 40 years and older. This study was approved by the institutional review board of the Samsung Medical Center, which waived the need for informed consent because the data were publicly available and anonymized under confidentiality guidelines. This study was designed and conducted according to the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) reporting guideline.

An increasing number of cohort studies from different countries continue to be published. The results are heterogeneous concerning light to moderate consumption, while there is a consensus regarding high consumption and elevated dementia risk (see Table 2). They may also require medications to help manage symptoms and conditions due to excessive alcohol use.

In the present study, we evaluated the association between comprehensive patterns of changes in alcohol consumption and the risk of dementia stratified by the initial amount of alcohol consumption using a large sample of a representative Korean population. According to one study conducted on the risk factors for younger-onset dementia, alcohol intoxication as a late teenager is one of the highest predictors of men who will develop it. Additionally, a second study found that 57% of young-onset dementia was related to chronic heavy alcohol use. It aims to stop the person drinking alcohol and make their health more stable.

Alcohol has been proven to have a greater effect on the elderly, particularly in regard to cognitive function, due to factors such as having lower amounts of body water and thiamine than younger drinkers, leading to more risk of alcohol related dementia [38]. The Royal College of Physicians estimates that 35% of heavy drinkers have a form of alcohol related brain damage, such as alcohol related dementia [4]. The best way to prevent alcoholic dementia and other health complications related to chronic alcohol use is to seek treatment for alcohol addiction. While this decision can be difficult, it can quite literally save your life and improve your overall health and wellbeing. Vertava Health offers a variety of treatment programs catered to helping individuals overcome alcohol use disorders.

The Start and Progression of Alcoholic Dementia

For many people, research suggests that light to moderate drinking of alcohol seems to have a protective benefit on dementia risk. However, it’s important to remember that alcohol use can lead to dependence and abuse, so caution is warranted. Among the 1,518 participants screened, late-onset alcohol abuse affected 2.2 percent, higher than the 1.7 percent for older adults overall. The research team found that late-onset alcohol abuse was significantly more frequent in patients with bvFTD than those with Alzheimer’s-type dementia, while there was no difference between the frequency of lifelong alcohol abuse across the three dementia groups. They also found that alcohol abuse as a first symptom occurred in 1.4 percent of all patients, five times more frequently in patients with bvFTD than those with Alzheimer’s-type dementia. The results indicate not only that late-onset alcohol abuse is much more frequent in bvFTD than Alzheimer’s-type dementia, but also the likelihood that the biological mechanisms underlying late-onset and lifelong alcohol abuse are different.

  • A study found that long term consumption of over 14 units of alcohol per week had a higher risk of developing alcohol related dementia than those who consumed less than 14 units per week for the same amount of time [9].
  • Elderly alcoholic dementia is a closely-related condition which affects elderly people, and the health effects of alcohol are worse when coupled with other neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.
  • People who drink heavily over a long period of time are more likely to have a reduced volume of the brain’s white matter, which helps to transmit signals between different brain regions.

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