What Are The Chances Of Recovery For People With Wet Brain
The outcome of wet brain is determined by the progression of the disease. Receiving treatment early before permanent damage occurs will greatly raise your chances. Wet Brain records high mortality rates when left unattended. The majority of deaths are caused by infections to the lungs, high blood toxicity, or permanent brain damage.
When treated quickly, wet brain patients will see improvements in:
- Sight challenges
It Can Often Be Fatal
Once stage 2 fully sets in, the amount of brain bleeding that has taken place can often be fatal. If that does not end up taking away your life, the complicating symptoms that come with it will cause you further harm which can, at times, lead to death.
Stage 2 of wet brain is often fatal due to the amount of brain bleeding and brain lesions that have set in. Oftentimes, the brain can no longer continue to operate the organs or the bodys systems will overall shut down. The brain itself begins to die, and the patient along with it.
With Korsakoffs Psychosis The Main Symptoms Present As Some Of The Following:
- Short-term memory loss, or the inability to form new memories or retain information
- Some individuals may experience long-term memory loss as well
- Confabulation is a more rare symptom, which means to make up events to fill in memory gaps
People with Korsakoff Syndrome are typically unaware that theyre suffering from the disorder.
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What Is Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol affects people in different ways. Some people enjoy a drink with food or in certain social settings. Others might even drink alcohol to cope with depression or self-esteem issues. When people have reached the point where they are unable to control their alcohol consumption, this is known as alcohol abuse. People that chronically abuse alcohol are susceptible to developing wet brain symptoms.
Alcohol abuse is the second most common form of substance abuse in the United States, after tobacco addiction. People that suffer from alcohol addiction have developed issues or problems in their health, at work, school, or even with the law. Despite these negative consequences, people with alcohol problems are unable to stop or cut down on how much they are consuming.
It is not fully understood yet why some people abuse alcohol and others do not. One cause can be due to genetics. A family history of alcohol addiction can place a person at higher risk for developing an addiction. For example, children of parents who have trouble with alcohol are at an increased risk of developing this disorder.
How To Prevent Wet Brain
The best way to prevent wet brain syndrome is to avoid heavy alcohol use. It also helps to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
If you have a history of AUD, or currently struggle with AUD, it helps to have your vitamin levels checked.
Heavy alcohol use interferes with your bodys ability to absorb nutrients. Dont assume that taking a vitamin B1 vitamin will be enough to prevent problems.
The best approach is to work with your doctor to determine where you stand regarding nutrient balance. This way you can create a medically supervised plan to supplement and improve your health.
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The Link Between Alcohol Abuse And The Wernicke Korsakoff
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported in an article published in 2013 that about 86.8 percent of adults in America have consumed alcohol at some point in their life. Consuming alcohol in moderate amounts is not necessarily bad, and alcohol is even reported to have certain health benefits. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines responsible drinking as drinking only once daily for women and twice a day for men, which is commonly considered the safe zone. Drinking more than these levels may result in binge drinking, and if this goes on for an extensive period of time, it may lead to substance abuse, alcohol addiction or wet brain.
In 2013, The NIAAA confirmed that up to 16.6 million adults in America between the ages of 18 and 40 and 697,000 adolescents aged between 12 and 17 have struggled with AUD.
Thiamine deficiency is strongly linked to the brain syndrome known as Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome or wet brain. It is mostly developed as a result of alcohol abuse. It is hard to know how many people may have Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome because the symptoms are similar to the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal or intoxication at times. Besides, many chronic alcoholics may be destitute or have a reduced social circle or support mechanism because of their alcoholism, which results in fewer official diagnoses of wet brain.
Complications Of Wet Brain Syndrome
Untreated wet brain syndrome can lead to serious complications that get worse progressively.
The most severe of these complications is the progression into Korsakoffs psychosis. At this point, the brain is irreparably damaged and suffers memory problems, hallucinations, and changes in behavior.
In very severe cases, the physical complication of wet brain syndrome can lead to a loss of brain function that results in coma or even death.
Insurance Can Help Pay for Addiction Treatment
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Does Wet Brain Come On Suddenly
Wet brain behavior may not always be immediately recognizable as the symptoms of wet brain may be misinterpreted as other health problems. However, unlike many of the other harmful effects of alcohol abuse that develop over time, wet brain occurs very suddenly and presents itself in two distinct stages.
Dementia Caused By Alcohol Abuse
Dementia is usually associated with old age or Alzheimers disease. According to the Alzheimers Association, the rate of dementia disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all cases. However, drinking Alcohol can also cause it. Alcohol-related dementia occurs when extensive brain damage causes things like memory loss and cognitive disability.
But is wet brain a type of dementia? The answer is yes. However, it doesnt start to occur until a person reaches the second stage of Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome. Once theyve reached this stage, they may start to exhibit signs of Alcohol dementia, some of which could be permanent.
Dementia causes a person to lose a certain amount of cognitive functionality. This could include memory loss and the deterioration of motor skills. Depending on the extent of wet brain, some of these skills may never return.
What are the signs of Alcohol dementia?
- A reduction in mental activity
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How To Diagnose Wet Brain
It can be difficult to diagnose wet brain because one of the primary symptoms is confusion. Someone struggling with a wet brain may not be able to recognize their symptoms clearly or seek medical advice when they should. Doctors often struggle to diagnose wet brain as well since symptoms can resemble other conditions.
If someone has a history of alcoholism, however, it can be easier to reach a proper diagnosis since the wet brain is most commonly associated with people who struggle with alcohol use. In addition to evaluating your history of alcohol use, doctors are wise to run tests that check for any nutritional deficiencies, such as that of vitamin B1. Psychological screenings can also be helpful to determine the presence of any mental symptoms, such as confusion, confabulation, and hallucinations.
Reach Out To Westwind Recovery Today
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol addiction, early intervention is the best way to prevent the onset of wet brain. At Westwind Recovery®, we offer alcohol addiction treatment programs in our Los Angeles recovery center. Connect with a member of our team today at or contact us online to learn more.
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Treatment For Alcohol Use Disorder And Alcohol Addiction
It is recommended that those with WKS abstain from alcohol, which may require treatment for an alcohol use disorder. This may slow the progression of their condition and improve chronic symptoms of WKS. 8 American Addiction Centers offers a range of programs that treat alcohol addiction and help people get and stay sober across the United States.
Our treatment programs provide comprehensive care starting with medical detox through treatment, with qualified staff available to assist you. AAC is so confident in their ability to help people stay sober that they offer a 90-day promise. If you relapse after 90 days of consecutive treatment at an AAC center, you can return for another 30 days of treatment at no additional cost.
How Long Does Korsakoff Syndrome Last
The prognosis for someone with Korsakoffs syndrome depends on how soon treatment begins and how much brain damage has already been done. Any improvement usually occurs within a period of up to two years after stopping drinking. Some symptoms, especially the loss of memory and thinking skills, may be permanent.
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What Is The Outlook For People With Wet Brain
In many cases, if wet brain is detected in the early stages and treated immediately, it can be reversed, according to the National Institutes of Health . If a person can stop drinking, often with the support of a structured rehab program, they can prevent further damage to their nerves and brain. If they continue to drink, however, the disease may progress to a long-term condition, and then wet brain may ultimately become life-threatening.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Wet Brain
Approximately 6.2% of Americans aged 18 years old and older meet the clinical criteria for alcohol use disorder. When most people think about drinking-related problems, they picture car accidents, fights, and run-ins with the police. But problem drinking can also lead to a range of severe and sometimes irreversible health problems. The more someone drinks and the longer someone drinks without quitting, then the higher their risks of developing cancer, liver damage, sexual dysfunction, and nutritional deficits. These dietary deficits can lead to a condition called wet brain.
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Prognosis Of Patients With Wet Brain
If a patient diagnosed with Wernickes Encephalopathy receives treatment right away, the prognosis is generally good. So long as they quit drinking alcohol and improve their diet, they should experience a full recovery.
However, once the patient enters stage 2, Korsakoff Psychosis, the outlook is less optimistic. Patients may experience some improvement with the initial treatment, but the remaining symptoms are likely permanent.
Approximately 80-90% of patients with Wernickes Encephalopathy will go on to develop Korsakoff Psychosis. This means prevention is the best tool for battling wet brain.
Because wet brain, or Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, is so debilitating and fatal, it is important to take any symptoms you or your loved one may experience seriously. Additionally, you should know the signs of alcohol abuse and get treatment and recovery support before you sustain any further damage.
What Causes Wet Brain
Alcohol use disorder refers to the chronic consumption of alcohol. Chronic excess alcohol consumption can damage the lining of the stomach, preventing the uptake of thiamine. Over time, this pattern of alcohol abuse can lead to severe thiamine deficiency, resulting in wet brain. Plus, individuals with a substance abuse disorder like alcohol addiction are more likely to consume a poor diet that is deficient in essential vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin B1 is critical for facilitating metabolic processes, protecting the brain and nervous system, and supporting the bodys ability to harness energy from glucose in carbohydrates. In particular, vitamin B1 behaves as a cofactor that allows certain enzymes in the body to carry out their jobs.
Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin, and the body doesnt have any backup reserves of the crucial nutrients. As a result, its critical to get adequate amounts of thiamine on a daily basis. Lack of thiamine in the body can cause severe and life-threatening symptoms.
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Treatment For Alcohol Addiction At Harmony Ridge Recovery Center
If you or a family member is dealing with alcohol abuse and are ready to take the next step towards recovery, Harmony Ridge Recovery Center is here to help. Alcohol addiction can cause serious negative health issues, including wet brain disease. Wet brain disease is treatable though, especially when a person receives wet brain treatment early on.
Abstaining from alcohol is the overall best wet brain treatment option. It will not only prevent wet brain disease, but it will also prevent other health issues such as high blood pressure and cancer. Abstaining from alcohol can even allow you to take back control over your life.
To begin recovery, the first step is detoxification, to rid your body of any drugs and alcohol. It is never a good idea to go through detox alone. Withdrawal from alcohol can be very dangerous and painful, and in some cases fatal. Completing a medically supervised detoxification protocol within a licensed detox facility is the safest and most effective way.
Stage : Korsakoffs Psychosis
The significantly more serious second stage of wet brain is when the true problems begin to take hold. If a patient does not receive immediate treatment during the first stage of wet brain or continues to drink after recovery, Korsakoffs Psychosis will surely set in much worse consequences.
In Korsakoffs Psychosis, patients will experience a severe decline in brain capability. Common symptoms include memory loss, hallucinations, and general disorientation. At the point of stage 2, symptoms are generally irreversible. The brain bleeding that has happened will not be repaired, and patients can be permanently impacted.
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Why Thiamine Deficiency Is So Dangerous
Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1, is important because is essential for carbohydrate metabolism and the normal function of the nervous system. Its also a cofactor for the production of key enzymes that enable our brain to function properly. It protects cells and is critical for overall brain health.
The nervous system needs these enzymes to function, which is why thiamine deficiency from alcohol causes life-threatening neurological problems.
Wet Brain: Late Stage Alcoholism Psychosis
There are many health concerns related to heavy alcohol consumption. One of the most debilitating illnesses is Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, also known as wet brain. Wet brain affects males more than females and the sufferer has a 10-20% chance of early death. Stopping alcohol use when the body and brain are dependent on alcohol can result in death. People who suffer from Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome need to be medically monitored in an alcohol detox program followed by a long-term residential treatment center for recovery.
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How Can Wks Be Treated
When Wet brain symptoms are detected, prompt treatment can prevent or delay the progression of the disease. In addition, prompt treatments can also reverse the temporary brain abnormalities.
Hospital admission may be necessary. There, your gastric system will be watched closely to ensure proper food absorption at the hospital.
- The deficient nutrient is administered using the intravenous line around the arm.
- Thiamine is also given orally
- You will also be placed on a proper diet so that your nutrient levels vitamin can pick up
Treatment with intravenous injections of vitamin B-1 is usually given after diagnosing wet brain. Early intervention is crucial in reversing any of the brain damage.
Treating this nutrient deficiency may have a counterproductive reaction that is very commonplace with alcoholics. Besides sleep disorders and insomnia, you may also experience mood swings and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Hallucinations, confusion or agitation may be experienced, as well.
Is Wernicke Korsakoff Syndrome Reversible
WKS is a potentially reversible condition.2,5,7 The severity of a persons symptoms, how early a person begins treatment, and the type of treatment that they receive can all have a significant impact on whether a case of WKS can be reversed or alleviated.2,4
Some people may make a full recovery, although this is rare. Thiamine therapy will offer varying levels of improvement in symptoms after 5-12 days.6
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Prognosis Of Korsakoff Psychosis
Untreated Wernicke encephalopathy progresses to Korsakoff psychosis. Unfortunately, the prognosis is grim for a family of individuals who have developed psychosis. Symptoms like memory loss and loss of mental abilities are usually permanent. Death is not uncommon because of Korsakoff syndrome. The severe brain damage developed into KP leads to cognitive decline and dementia in thiamine deficiency alcoholism. The final stages of the disease are coma and, ultimately, premature death.
The Facts About Alcoholic Wet Brain
Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD
Get started on your road to recovery.
Alcohol, in mainstream society, is usually associated with fun social events like parties and holidays. For people who suffer from alcoholism or addiction problems, alcohol is dangerous. The most common fears linked to overconsumption of alcohol are concerns about DUIs, injuries, or diseases like cirrhosis of the liver in long-term drinkers.
These are all valid fears that cause incalculable suffering for alcoholics and their loved ones. Alcoholic wet brain, or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome , is a lesser-known consequence of alcoholism, but the impact it has on sufferers is debilitating and deadly.
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The Connection Between Wet Brain And Alcoholism
As an essential nutrient, thiamine is used throughout the body for essential tasks. This particular nutrient is usually received through a persons diet. Without it, a persons body can become affected, particularly in the heart, brain, and nerves. Heavy drinking has been connected to thiamine deficiency, which can lead to wet brain disease.
Chances are if a person is heavily drinking on a regular basis, that person probably isnt getting a balanced and healthy diet. More specifically, that person may not be getting enough thiamine in his or her diet.
Thiamine is a crucial part of a healthy and balanced life. Without it, a person becomes at risk to develop wet brain disease and other disorders.
There are other ways that a person may fail to get thiamine in his or her system properly. For one, heavy alcohol consumption tends to affect a persons digestive tract. This alone can cause issues when the body attempts to absorb thiamine.
Wet brain disease can even up being life-threatening if a person with it doesnt get help. Thiamine is an essential part of the body and is partly responsible for converting sugar into energy . If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism or alcohol use disorder, dont wait to get help. Florida Center for Recovery is here for you.