Wet Brain: What You Need to Know

When someone who was in the late stages of alcoholism, such as someone with wet brain, the detox process can become risky. Excessive chronic alcohol use can affect how the body absorbs vitamin B1, leading to deficiency. When the brain does not have enough thiamine, it struggles to convert sugar into the energy it needs for normal, healthy function. This deficiency is what causes the development of wet brain. The condition damages parts of the brain responsible for movement and coordination. In many ways, a person struggling with alcohol addiction and showing symptoms of second-phase wet brain acts much like someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

Ongoing treatment for Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome includes abstinence from alcohol, adequate nutrition, and vitamin supplementation. In order to diagnose Wernicke encephalopathy, thiamine levels in the person’s https://ecosoberhouse.com/oxford-house/ blood should be tested. Some cases of Wernicke encephalopathy may also be brought on by extreme dieting which prevents the body from receiving the nutrients it needs to maintain healthy functioning.

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So, what—exactly—is a «wet brain?» According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is really two different disorders. It is also possible that genetics can play a role in the extent of brain damage from alcoholism. People with a family history of alcohol use disorder may be at higher risk of wet brain, and people who were exposed to alcohol while in the womb are at higher risk as well. Someone’s overall health can also impact their chance of getting Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

  • In many cases, stopping or limiting alcohol use is essential to reduce the risk of developing Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
  • At this stage, a person with this condition might find it difficult to walk or become confused when engaging in daily activities such as getting dressed.
  • Residential programs, like inpatient rehabs, provide housing and meals during the treatment period.
  • According to The American Society of Addiction Medicine, “Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain….
  • Some use a 12-Step approach that follows the 12-Steps of Alcoholics….
  • Summit Malibu is Joint Commission Accredited and licensed by the California Department of Health Care Services.

Signs of wet brain can differ depending on the stage of the disorder. In the first of the wet brain stages, known as Wernicke’s encephalopathy, symptoms can include confusion, disorientation, changes in vision and abnormal eye movements. If left untreated, these symptoms can progress to coma and death.

Stage 1: Wernicke Encephalopathy

Reach out today, before chronic conditions develop, and a health care or recovery expert will help guide you in next steps. The good news—if caught early enough—is that wet brain syndrome is a preventable, treatable mush brain disease if you stop drinking and seek help. Intense thiamine replacement therapy and abstinence from alcohol can result in a noticeable improvement in both mental and physical functioning within weeks.

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

Wernicke's Encephalopathy is a deterioration of brain tissue, and the symptoms include confusion and disorientation, numbness in the hands and feet, rapid random eye movements (sometimes called 'dancing eyes'), blurred vision, and poor balance and gait (walking unsteadily).

Korsakoff psychosis is irreversible and often debilitating. Yet with personalized, evidence-based care, it is treatable. That’s what you can expect when you come to a Gateway Foundation addiction treatment center.

Korsakoff syndrome

Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve lasting recovery from alcohol addiction. Confusion, a symptom of Wernicke-Korsaskoff syndrome, may create panic for the alcoholic who is unaware of their surroundings in detox. It is important to have family and friends insist that the alcoholic stay and comply with the alcohol treatment program.

end stages of wet brain

The disorder produces neurological symptoms such as memory problems. It is similar to dementia and sometimes known as alcoholic encephalopathy or alcoholic dementia. Without immediate treatment, effects can be hugely detrimental to a person’s health and wellbeing. Wet brain syndrome occurs through prolonged heavy drinking and can have devastating effects on a person’s quality of life. This condition is a lesser-known side effect of alcohol abuse but is still a real possibility that you should be aware of. The only way to arrest its progression is to stop drinking and receive treatment for thiamine deficiency.

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