Alcohol And Dementia: How Are They Related?
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a medical term used to describe the loss of short and long-term memory, inability to think normally, and/or poor decision-making abilities that impact their everyday lives. It typically is known to affect the elderly community. Unfortunately with alcohol abuse and addiction on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic, alcohol-related dementia is on the rise amongst all age groups.
What is Alcohol-Related Dementia?
Alcohol-related dementia also known as the Korsakoff syndrome, is the medical term used to describe the various signs and symptoms of brain damage caused by the prolonged use or abuse of alcohol. The only real difference between dementia and alcohol-related dementia is that the cause is not caused naturally or via genetics, rather its diagnosis is directly related to overdrinking.
Some signs and symptoms may include but are not limited to:
- Changes in one’s personality
- Memory gaps and loss – short and long term
- Inability to remain on everyday tasks
- Lack of common sense
- Ill-affected judgment
- Declining social skills
- Balance problems
- Decreased energy
- Loss of interest in normal activities or hobbies
- Decreased patience
- Increased aggression or irritability
- Inability to understand feelings, appearing insensitive or unemotional
- May appear lost or confused
- Loses track or sense of time
It’s important to note that moderate consumption of alcohol is not directly connected to a diagnosis of dementia; however, if alcohol is abused or used excessively over long periods of time, it can speed up the process of dementia in someone already prone to this disease. Where someone who might have naturally started showing signs of the disease in their 70s or 80s, could potentially see themselves affected at a much earlier age. Some reports of adults 30+ years of age are reporting the signs and symptoms of dementia due to alcoholism.
Can Alcohol-Related Dementia be Reversed?
Whenever anyone is affected by dementia, the first question is usually, can it be fixed or reversed? Early detection and diagnosis are super important because if you catch alcohol-related dementia at an early stage, signs, and symptoms can be reduced or even reversed with proper medical and mental health care and treatment.
Signs and symptoms of alcohol-related dementia that can be reduced or reversed may include but are not limited to:
- Cease all intake of alcohol
- A healthier diet with vitamin heavy meals, snacks, and drinks
- Medical care including rehabs and alcohol treatment centers
- Actively participate in mental health treatment
- IV vitamin and supplement therapies
Treatment and Programs for Alcohol-Related Dementia
Since alcohol abuse or addiction is the root cause for a diagnosis of alcohol-related dementia, there are tons of treatment options and programs to assist with the reduction in symptoms or even the reversal of the symptoms. With virtually every city, or county in the United States offering alcohol treatment centers and programs, the access is there if someone wants help with their disease and recovery.
Treatment programs that assist with the treatment of alcohol-related dementia may include but are not limited to:
- Clinical programs
- Intensive outpatient programs
- Family programs
- Outpatient rehab programs
- Detox programs (medicated assisted)
- Partial hospitalization programs
- Recreational therapy programs
- Sober living programs
- Men’s & women’s residential programs
Since the pandemic, we have seen addiction and mental health treatment programs explode across the nation. This allows anyone who is facing struggles to have access to a wide range of treatments and programs options to assist them with their journey to improved brain health.
Different types of treatment administered for alcohol-related dementia may include but are not limited to:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- EMDR (Eye-movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy
- Music & expression therapy
Receive the Help You Need at Little Creek Recovery
If you or someone you love is suffering signs and symptoms of alcohol-related dementia, a good option is Little Creek Recovery in Pennsylvania. The programs and treatments are available to help stop the progression and in some cases even reverse the damage caused by alcohol-related dementia. Little Creek Lodge is a great treatment program with a fully trained staff to assist in any programs and treatments that you or your loved one may need.
Contact us today at Little Creek Recovery to explore your treatment options. Our team will customize and tailor a treatment plan to fit your specialized needs.