What Is Alcoholic “Wet Brain” ?Rehabilitation News
Wet brain is a term used to describe the degradation of the brain called “Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome”. This condition is often caused by a Vitamin B1 deficiency. Quite often, alcoholism can cause the Vitamin B1 deficiency that causes this disorder. At the Crosby Clinic, we have numerous alcohol treatment options for individuals struggling with addiction. It is crucial to get substance abuse help before the condition makes a negative impression on your health.
What Is Wet Brain?
Wet brain is a manifestation of two conditions. These are Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s psychosis. Combined, these conditions present symptoms like memory, gait, and visual impairments.
Wet brain is a condition that occurs in phases. First, encephalopathy briefly affects individuals by causing vision changes, eyelid drooping, and double vision. Individuals also experience leg tremors, loss of muscle coordination, confusion, and loss of mental activity.
A patient does not need to have all of these symptoms to be diagnosed with encephalopathy and the symptoms are typically mild and unnoticeable. Unfortunately, if these are left unaddressed, they can cause coma or death in patients affected.
The second phase occurs when psychosis sets in. These symptoms often present with a rapid onset of memory impairment. This occurs quickly as a result of brain damage caused by encephalopathy. During this phase, patients may experience hallucinations, make up memories and stories, loss of memory, amnesia, and have an inability to form new memories.
How Alcoholism Makes Wet Brain Worse
Alcoholism does not directly cause wet brain, but alcohol abuse is a common cause of the deficiency leading to it. Because alcoholism deprives the body of Vitamin B1, it is unable to break down sugars and carbs and turn them into energy molecules. As a result, brain damage occurs. Additionally, high levels of thiamine stored in the liver, brain, kidney, and heart are negatively impacted by excessive amounts of alcohol.
Wet Brain Treatment Options
Once this condition is diagnosed in an alcoholic patient, they will receive an injection of thiamine. This is done as an attempt to raise the thiamine levels in a user. This can improve a person’s unsteady gait and confusion. Unfortunately, memory loss does not generally improve once its onset occurs.
After a patient receives the injection, it is recommended that they commit to alcohol treatment as soon as possible. They will need to be placed in a detox program that will eliminate all of the alcohol from their system safely. Patients need to detox from alcohol in order to reduce the likelihood of a damaging relapse in the future.
After detox, patients enter inpatient rehab to continue getting the help they need, both physically and mentally, to live a happier and healthier life.
Without treatment, wet brain will result in death. Treatment enables patients to control and improve some of the symptoms that they experience from this devastating condition.
If you or your loved one is suffering from alcoholism and wet brain, it is crucial to get substance abuse help as soon as possible. Contact us at (760) 751-1234 to get started now.