Doctor insights on:
Does Alcoholism Cause Dementia
Evaluation: I'd recommend a medical work-up and neuropsychological assessment in order to determine the best treatment. There is a disorder of thinking and behavior called wernicke-korsakoff syndrome that is caused by chronic alcohol-related vitamin deficiency. However, someone with a history of alcoholism may have another type of dementia, or other medical issues that affect thinking and behavior. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, is an addiction characterized by increased cravings, consumption, and failed efforts to limit intake of alcohol. As the disease progresses, alcoholics develop increased tolerance and have withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop drinking. They continue to increase the amounts and frequency of alcohol consumption despite exposure to harmful situations, failure to perform daily obligations, and difficulty maintaining relationships. The denial, or inability of the alcoholic to see or admit that their drinking is causing havoc in their lives often makes treatment difficult without the ...Read more
First order of: Business is to make sure that there are no other reversible causes of the confusion. This should include of course stopping the alcohol safely. It should also entail a search for other contributors such as a low b 12 or other vitamin, nutritional, medical, and infectious causes of confusion. A look at medications should ensure that none of them are causing the confusion as well. ...Read more
He has early stage dementia due to chronic alcoholism, diagnosed in 2011. He is vulgar & inappropriate lately. Is this normal w/dementia?
Yes: Unfortunately with dementias one often loses the ability to stop inappropriate social behaviors including the ones mentioned. The behavior is primarily physiological in this context. Measures to help him feel safer and medications which might enhance inhibitory circuits could be tried. I am not aware of any "magic bullets" for this but I would avoid shaming or confrontations. Try singing!? ...Read more
No: Dementia is usually differentiated into two types: vascular type, and non-vascular type. Vascular dementia is due to disruption in the vascular supply causing degeneration of neurons. Non-vascular dementia, such as Alzheimer's dementia, Lewy body dementia are cause by mechanisms involve amyloid plaque depositions and neurofibrillary tangles, and accumulation of Lewy body in the neuron. ...Read more
Wow: It is so uncommon I guess I would say dementia from alcohol and drug abuse, vascular origin and maybe post traumatic would be most common in that age group. You can go way out and say perhaps some severe metabolic disorders like hypothyroidism might be a cause... But all these are really really uncommon. ...Read more
Damage to blood flow: The vascular system supplies the brain with oxygen and nutrients through the blood system or vasculature. When the vasculature system is negatively impacted it can lead to cell death and if enough damage occurs then one deveops vascular dementia. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
3 main causes: Alzheimer's disease, lewy body dementia and vascular dementia are the top 3 causes. Death of brain cells results from the abnormal accumulation of proteins in the first 2 disorders. Vascular refers to loss of brain cells from little stroke-like events that deprive them of nutrition. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Biology & addiction: Some people have a biological predisposition for alcoholism that runs in their families, other people develop a tolerance and addiction from overuse. Heavy drinking may start out as a bad habit, but alcoholism is an addiction and a disease that needs proper treatment or it can be life threatening. 12 step program and psychotherapy, as well as detox and rehab programs can be very helpful. ...Read more
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