Understanding the Potential Risks of Developing Wet Brain

Your experience should be similar, and you can always ask the staff at the treatment center if your challenges with thinking are normal. How life with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome continues depends on how severely someone is affected by the disease and wet brain symptoms. Importantly, they may be able to live on their own with assistance from their caregivers or home health aides.

  • However, many individuals, both in the medical field and out of it, refer to it as Wet Brain.
  • However, current statistics show that more men than women have wet brain, and the age groups most affected by the disorder are between the ages of 30 and 70.
  • Alcohol will stay in urine for up to 80 hours and in hair follicles for up to three months.
  • But that feeling isn’t just in your head — a hangover can actually impair your ability to think clearly.

Here, atAspenRidge Recovery, we can help you treat an alcohol addiction. Depending on the severity of your addiction, we’ll recommend different types of action plans to help treat the alcoholism symptoms. We’ll also monitor the wet brain symptoms to make sure that you’re on the right track to recovery.


Wet brain in aslcoholics is less common than some of the other side effects of alcohol abuse, but it can still occur. Here are the facts about wet brain causes, symptoms, and treatment. There are two forms of wet brain syndrome called Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff psychosis. With Wernicke’s encephalopathy, a person will develop neurological symptoms because the brain is suffering from lesions that form from a lack of adequate thiamine. Mostly, these neurological symptoms are related to memory problems. Once the signs of the first part of the wet brain syndrome diminish, a person can develop the symptoms of Korsakoff’s psychosis.

  • This level of intoxication affects the occipital lobe, temporal lobe and frontal lobe in your brain.
  • Although these patients have problems remembering old information (i.e., retrograde amnesia), it is their difficulty in “laying down” new information (i.e., anterograde amnesia) that is the most striking.
  • When the brain doesn’t get the glucose it needs to run properly as the result of a thiamine deficiency, the individual will begin to develop symptoms of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
  • Without it, thiamine deficiency can cause a variety of problems.
  • “For starters, alcohol slows down the neurotransmitter GABA, and that’s what drives the sluggish movement, slurred speech, and slower reaction time in someone who’s intoxicated,” said Pagano.

Approximately 80 to 90 percent of alcoholics with Wernicke’s encephalopathy also develop Korsakoff’s psychosis, a chronic and debilitating syndrome characterized by persistent learning and memory problems. Patients with Korsakoff’s psychosis are forgetful and quickly frustrated and have difficulty with walking and coordination . Although these patients have problems remembering old information (i.e., retrograde amnesia), it is their difficulty in “laying down” new information (i.e., anterograde amnesia) that is the most striking.

Understanding Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Alcohol causes cognitive impairment that can greatly increase the risk of injury with these conditions. Someone who is drinking may also forget how much alcohol they have consumed, increasing the risk of alcohol poisoning. Whether or not a person engages in drinking should be a decision they make what is mush brain on their own, or with the help of a doctor or mental health professional. “You might hear the classic term ‘wet brain,’ and that’s a real thing,” said Pagano. Alcohol hinders a person’s absorption of thiamine and interferes with the enzyme that converts it into a usable form in the body.

  • Scientists are investigating the use of complex motor training and medications to prevent or reverse the alcohol–related brain damage found in people prenatally exposed to alcohol .
  • And if a person has an underlying mental health disorder, like depression or bipolar disorder, alcohol can exacerbate symptoms and increase mood swings.
  • Preventing alcohol abuse and malnutrition by eating healthy foods and drinking responsibly is the most effective way to manage a wet brain.
  • People with early-stage dementia may also find it more difficult to make complex decisions and express themselves.
  • Wernicke encephalopathy is a condition that requires immediate medical attention and with appropriate treatment, can be reversible.

It is possible to have a normal conversation with someone with Korsakoff syndrome, but that person will probably not remember the conversation an hour or two later. Alcohol-related dementia is a broad term and can describe multiple conditions related to alcohol use that affects the brain. However, a 2018 study published in The Lancet suggests that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. Even low levels of consumption can harm your health; higher levels of consumption have worse effects. Some of those effects, like slurred speech and diminished memory, can be quite clear; others, like long-term cellular damage, may not be as obvious. It is essential to remain abstinent from alcohol to prevent additional neurological decline.

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