What Is Wet Brain?

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Since Korsakoff syndrome usually develops after an episode of Wernicke’s encephalopathy, the damage to key parts of the brain has already spread. However, your doctor and health care team might still try different methods of IV and vitamin replacement therapies to slow the progress of the damage.

Wet Brain from Alcoholism

Wernicke’s Encephalopathy is known as the acute stage of the disorder, whereas Korsakoff’s Psychosis represents the condition’s chronic stage. The sooner you can recognize symptoms and receive appropriate treatment, the sooner you can stop the progression of the syndrome and greatly lower your chances of experiencing irreversible side effects.

Characteristics of Wet Brain

Additionally, alcohol reduces the body’s ability to absorb thiamine, which can harm the brain’s ability to function normally. When wet brain enters its second stage, the condition becomes much more difficult to treat. It is rare for the symptoms of Korsakoff syndrome to completely resolve. Wet brain goes by many different names, such as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, alcohol dementia, alcoholic encephalopathy and Korsakoff psychosis.

How do you know if you have permanent brain damage from alcohol?

Repeated blackouts, a clear sign of excessive drinking, can result in permanent damage that inhibits the brain from retaining new memories. For example, an individual may be able to recall past events with perfect clarity but not remember having the conversation a few hours later.

Other symptoms that have been present in cases of WE are stupor, low blood pressure , elevated heart rate , as well as hypothermia, epileptic seizures and a progressive loss of hearing. Untreated, long-term alcoholism can result in a host of negative consequences, from social isolation and unemployment to fatal cirrhosis of the liver. Wet brain syndrome is one of the physical risks of alcoholism that can’t be treated once it has progressed past a certain point. A proper diagnosis of wet brain can’t be made for a person with alcohol use disorder until they are in recovery.

Untreated Alcoholism and the Risks of Wet Brain Syndrome

Its deficiency may cause swelling of the intracellular space and local disruption of the blood-brain barrier. Brain tissue is very sensitive to changes in electrolytes and pressure and edema can be cytotoxic. In Wernicke this occurs specifically in the mammillary bodies, medial thalami, tectal plate, and periaqueductal areas. People with the condition may also exhibit a dislike for sunlight and so may wish to stay indoors with the lights off.

  • Want to learn more, find out can alcohol permanently damage your brain.
  • Alcohol consumption can damage the brain through numerous mechanisms, many of which are discussed in the articles in this issue of Alcohol Research & Health.
  • These problems, along with wet brain syndrome, can be difficult or even impossible to treat on their own.
  • Comprehensive addiction treatment is frequently necessary for alcoholics and chronic alcohol abusers.

These parts of the brain are involved in motor control and parts of the nervous system, respectively. Damage to these parts of the brain can cause significant impairment over time. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome has two stages of development and is named Wet Brain from Alcoholism after the discovery by two psychiatrists, Dr. Wernicke, and Dr. Korsakoff. Nestled in a tranquil setting just outside of Orlando, in Central Florida, our mental health facility provides patients with a safe place to reflect, reset and heal.

How To Treat Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Nestled in a tranquil setting just outside of Orlando, our mental health facility provides patients with a safe place to reflect, reset and heal. This syndrome is also known as Korsakoff’s psychosis because of the aggressive way it attacks memory more than other parts of the brain that affect different cognitive abilities. When Wet brain symptoms are detected, prompt treatment can prevent or delay the progression of the disease.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and need help, the expert clinical team at DreamLife Recovery is here to help. Give us a call and we can help find the right treatment program for you or your loved one – even if it’s not ours! While taking supplements can help, the best preventative measure is to abstain from drinking. Those who have a drinking problem should learn how to manage their drinking. Before the thiamine supplements are given, most doctors will check the thiamine levels in the blood of each patient. The blood work should also look at the concentration of other vitamins and minerals. Although thiamine is vital to the body, the body does not make it naturally.

Diagnosing Wet Brain

” While it’s an interesting and informal expression, it describes a very serious illness related to alcohol abuse that can potentially decrease your life expectancy. Alcoholism is the most common cause of wet brain, https://ecosoberhouse.com/ though it is not the only one. Nonetheless, alcoholism is typically the cause of the wet brain because alcohol interferes with the absorption of thiamine as well as the enzyme that activates thiamine in the body.

Wet Brain from Alcoholism

Once a person has been diagnosed with end stage alcoholism, life expectancy can be as limited as six months. A brain scan may show evidence of wet brain, due to brain swelling from Wernicke encephalopathy; however, most doctors diagnose the condition by examining the list of symptoms. Treatment typically involves ingesting thiamine, either intravenously, intramuscularly, or orally, depending on how the person will best tolerate the vitamin. Although treatment will not change brain damage or memory loss that occurs from Korsakoff’s psychosis, it can prevent or delay any further progression of wet brain. Wet brain can progress in a specific pattern, or both Wernicke encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s syndrome can develop together.

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