More than 50% of alcoholics will develop hallucinations, delusions, and other symptoms of alcoholic dementia due to drinking. The terrifying thing is that their families can be unaware that the changes in behavior have occurred as alcoholic dementia signs can easily be mistaken for typical behavior for aging or having “senior moments.”
A diagnosis of alcohol-related dementia (ARD) sometimes surprises families because they may not have been aware that their loved one was abusing alcohol. Your loved one could have been hiding their drinking and alcoholic dementia symptoms. Whatever the case, it is imperative to get them into an alcohol rehab program as soon as possible. Contact BlueCrest Recovery today at 888.292.9652 to learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment and recovery services.
What Is Alcohol-Related Dementia?
Alcohol-related dementia is a medical condition that eventually leads to declining mental health. ARD is also called alcoholic dementia or alcohol dementia syndrome (ADS). Alcohol abuse and dependence have been linked to several different types of dementia, such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease – Alzheimer’s is the most common type of alcohol-related dementia, accounting for 60% to 70% of all cases. Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes the brain cells to shrink and die.
- Vascular Dementia – This is the second most common type of alcohol dementia, accounting for about 20% of all cases. Vascular dementia occurs when problems in the blood vessels supply blood to the brain.
- Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS) – This is a degenerative disorder that affects memory, coordination, and vision. Also known as wet brain syndrome, it occurs due to thiamine deficiency caused by alcoholism.
ARD is a result of long-term and excessive alcohol consumption. Over time, the toxic effects of alcohol can damage brain cells, leading to problems with memory and thinking skills.
What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol-Related Dementia?
The severity of alcohol-related dementia varies depending on how much a person drinks and how long they have been drinking heavily. Some symptoms of alcohol dementia are similar to those of other types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, and include:
- Memory problems
- Slowed or slurred speech
- Difficulty walking or loss of balance and coordination
- Reduced awareness of your surroundings
- Difficulty understanding abstract concepts such as numbers, time, and direction
- Poor decision-making skills
- Confusion and disorientation
- Poor vision
People whose brains are affected by heavy drinking can demonstrate various symptoms. These symptoms may be mild, unnoticeable, or severe enough to interfere with their daily lives.
What Are the Long-term Complications of Alcohol-Related Dementia?
Alcohol-related dementia is a severe condition that can lead to various complications. Because of ARD, a person may be:
- Unable to eat correctly or digest their food
- Unaware of their hygiene
- Not able to recognize friends and family
- Unable to cope in social situations
- Prone to falls or accidents due to lack of coordination
- Unsure how to operate machines, read, and write
- Disoriented and confused about where they are
In extreme cases, alcohol dementia can cause a person to depend on others for daily care.
Is Alcohol-related Dementia Treatable?
When it comes to alcohol-related dementia, our medical professionals at BlueCrest Recovery Center aim to prevent the symptoms of dementia from worsening. They do this by helping the client undergo alcohol abuse treatment successfully. Several types of treatment plans can be used to help those suffering from alcoholism, such as:
To achieve lasting recovery, it is essential to consider all dimensions of one’s body, mind, and spirit. A holistic approach to treatment addresses all these areas by providing support for mind-body wellness, nutrition, exercise, and traditional psychotherapy.