What is alcoholic dementia: why it appears and whether it can be cured
- 1 Characteristics of the concept
- 2 Variation variations
- 3 What causes dementia
- 4 Symptoms of disorder
- 5 Therapeutic activities
Characteristics of the concept
A regular person who drank independently launches a mechanism for the destruction of neurotransmitters that affect behavior and emotions. Systematic alcohol intake leads to physical and psychological dependence, resulting in the development of alcoholic dementia. This disease is capable of blocking all skills and abilities acquired in the process of life activity, provoking serious intellectual disorders.
Note! Alcoholic dementia is most often diagnosed in the post-Soviet space, in Finland and in Asian countries.
Memory is broken, the patient can not recognize relatives, does not know their names. Fading of brain functions occurs, which leads to loss of speech skills: the patient can only moo. Fixed serious problems with sleep, disturbed rest and wakefulness.
The disease leads not only to intellectual degradation, but also to a decrease in personal characteristics, mental disorder. Alcohol-dependent becomes irritable, conflict, often scandals.
Dementia due to alcohol abuse can affect different parts of the brain:
- Bark of the big hemispheres. In chronic alcoholics, a cortical form of the disease is usually diagnosed, in which memory and consciousness are impaired. A person does not recognize relatives, cannot name his name. The patient loses all acquired skills.
- Subcortical layer. This type of dementia is diagnosed with concomitant vascular diseases and is not as dangerous as a cortical lesion. Violations are recorded during transmission of nerve impulses, which impairs unconscious actions. Thought processes are inhibited, the patient is in a depressive state.
- Departments of the central nervous system. The disease is progressing rapidly. Personal degradation comes quickly.
Multifocal dementia is also isolated, in which many parts of the brain die. The patient loses the ability to navigate in space, to memorize new information, becomes sluggish.
According to the degree of manifestation, alcoholic dementia can be mild, moderate and severe. A mild form of dementia is accompanied by extensive disorders in intellectual activity. The patient has not lost the opportunity to live independently, without resorting to the help of others.
With moderate severity of the disease significantly reduced mental capacity. The patient can not use household appliances. A person needs the help of loved ones.
Severe alcoholic dementia is diagnosed with a final personal degradation, when an alcohol addict cannot even eat on his own. This form of the disease requires continuous monitoring of the patient.
What causes dementia
Dementia develops as a result of long-term neuronal damage by acetaldehyde, a substance formed during the decay of ethanol. This element destroys the walls of blood vessels, causing atherosclerosis, microthrombs. The brain suffers more. Intoxication of the brain structures occurs, the blood supply is disturbed, which leads to damage to the central nervous system.
Most often, the disorder is detected in men after 55 years, but with long-term systematic alcohol abuse, the disease manifests itself earlier. Alcohol intoxication contributes to the formation of causes affecting the progression of dementia:
- The destruction of blood vessels, leading to poor blood supply to the brain.
- Chronic cerebral ischemia, in which oxygen starvation is recorded. Ischemia leads to brain cell death.
- Stenosis, atherosclerosis.
- Violation of cerebral circulation, which leads to malfunction of the body.
- Neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s.
- Disruption of metabolic processes, leading to abnormal metabolism.
- Diseases of the liver caused by alcohol intoxication.
The risk of developing the disease increases with tumor processes, head injuries, genetic predisposition, and endocrine disruption.
People with a low level of education and lack of interest are most susceptible to dementia. Being and brought up in a similar society, it is easy to become addicted to alcohol, which causes dementia.
If a person is at the 3rd stage of alcoholism or is prone to chronic domestic drinking, then the development of the disease is inevitable. Perennial alcohol intoxication is the dominant cause of dementia.
Symptoms of disorder
Usually, dementia is preceded by Korsakov syndrome, which manifests as memory lapses; an alcoholic can only recall events from a distant past. Amnesia provokes fictional episodes, replacing real events. Symptoms of dementia are expressed in disorders of emotional and behavioral nature, which consist in problems with memory, immaturity, inability to navigate in space.
Decrease in mental abilities is accompanied by loss of ability to generalize, compare. The patient has no interests, dominated only by the desire to drink. Some addicts exacerbated the need for sex, there is insatiability in eating.
At the initial stage of the disease there are no obvious signs of the development of dementia. The person continues to drink without seeking medical help. This leads to the progression of dementia, which is manifested in:
- impossibility to analyze, generalize;
- loss of concentration;
- inability to think globally;
- obsession with alcohol.
The patient is not aware of the problem, believing that he lives correctly. Dementia continues to progress, while the person may not recognize his reflection in the mirror or take himself for a child.
Consequences and prognosis
If untreated, the alcohol addict develops a sleep disorder, the patient has delusional states, hallucinations, phobias. The patient’s body is rapidly aging, there is a tremor of the limbs, speech skills are lost. Such processes lead to disability, in which a person is completely exhausted and immobilized.
With dementia, life expectancy is about 5 years, but with the rapid progression of the disease a person may die in six months. At the last stage of alcoholic dementia, the patient is in a state of an unconscious being who is incapable of speaking.
Alcoholic dementia is irreversible and cannot be cured, you can only stop the progression of the disease to prevent serious complications.
To overcome the development of dementia in women is easier than in men.
The primary task of therapy is psychological work with the patient. A person must realize that he is self-destructing himself by alcohol. It is necessary to exclude drinking from life.
Doctors stabilize the state of alcohol addiction, reducing the severity of pathological symptoms. It is also necessary to engage in the treatment of diseases acquired during alcohol addiction: arterial hypertension, atherosclerosis.
If a patient seeks medical help at the initial stage of dementia, then the disease is fought with the help of:
- Nootropic drugs that improve the body’s resistance to alcohol intoxication, stimulate memory, intellectual activity;
- brain nutritional aids;
- medications that promote better metabolism;
- sedatives that help relieve irritability, normalize sleep;
- antidepressant drugs.
As a concomitant treatment, tinctures of Eleutherococcus, Ginseng, Zamanihi, Schisandra are prescribed. These herbal solutions stimulate intellectual activity, improving attention and memory.
Alcoholic dementia greatly weakens the body, so the patient must take vitamin E, which slows down the progression of the disease. Doctors also prescribe omega-3 fatty acids and coenzyme Q10, which prevent cognitive impairment, normalizing the functioning of memory and intelligence.
Important! Correct social rehabilitation and competent psychological support are required.
If dementia starts, it will lead to disability and the loss of all acquired skills. Such patients can not be cured, requires constant care.
Alcoholic dementia is diagnosed in many people who are addicted to alcohol. The disease is not amenable to treatment, it is possible only to stop the progression of dementia. In the absence of therapeutic measures, the person becomes disabled.