Alcohol use and dementia: a systematic scoping review Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy Full Text

An Australian analysis demonstrated that ARD was found in 1.4% of all patients with diagnosed dementia but its prevalence was 22% in cases who had onset before 65 years (18). A study found a direct association between cognitive decline, and chronicity and severity of alcohol use (19). Prevalence rates of ARD in hospitals and clinics have been reported to account for 10% to 24% of all dementias subtypes (16, 20). Reports from neurology and memory clinics suggest lower rates of ARD in dementia cases, around 3% – 5%, indicating less referral to these centers (21, 22).

  • The Wernicke’s encephalopathy is likely to be the main underlying pathology in both KS and ARD.
  • However, in degenerative diseases, regaining lost functions is challenging, as these diseases involve ongoing cell death.
  • This was a secondary data analysis which was based on published aggregate data.
  • Combining both into the same group makes the non-drinking group seem like they had a higher risk of dementia than if lifetime non-drinkers were considered separately.
  • Patients with WKS demonstrate similar but more severe lesions in form of deficits in regional brain volumes (mammillary bodies, thalamus, cerebellar hemispheres, and vermis) than alcoholic patients without WKS (47).

It is interesting to note that the prevalence data of ARD is from the cohort that consists mainly of today’s younger and middle-aged generation. Thus, it might be predicted that ARD rates would be even higher in the future, given that chronic alcohol misuse will continue. Hence, it becomes important for the studies to include those less than 60 years of age (16). An English epidemiological study of younger-onset dementia (onset before 65 years) found 10% rates of ARD (17).

Evidence Acquisition

A study of KS in The Netherlands reported a prevalence of 48 per 100,000 inhabitants [55], and incidence rates of KS in the East End of Glasgow, Scotland, were estimated at around 8 per 100,000 in 1995, a seven-fold increase from 1990 [56]. A study of hospital admissions of patients at least 50 years old identified 126 cases of KS (0.05% of all admissions) and 77 cases of WE (0.03% of admissions), although there was some overlap in diagnostic groups [52]. There is a need for further epidemiological study of this population by using standardized criteria for diagnosis to increase accuracy in identification of underlying WKS neuropathology and allow overall prevalence rates to be established.

  • But your care team can prescribe medications to help with withdrawal symptoms.
  • Korsakoff’s syndrome occurs more gradually and the symptoms are usually attention and concentration problems, gaps in memory which are usually filled inaccurately (confabulation) and a difficulty learning new information.
  • There are three main types of alcohol related brain damage; Wernicke’s encephalopathy, Korsakoff’s syndrome and alcoholic dementia.
  • There have been suggestions that cases of ARD are variants of the WKS due to combination of heterogeneity in presentation of the WKS along with a lack of distinct pathology for ARD (50).
  • The rehabilitation facility for alcoholics is the best option to contact to learn more about the recovery process.
  • A 2016 study found that heavy drinking, equating to eight or more drinks per week, and drinking liquor increased cognitive decline among people with AD.

There are a variety of different types, including Alzheimer’s as well as dementia related to alcohol use. Multiple studies have cited wine as specifically having protective effects on people’s memory and cognitive ability. Other studies, however, have concluded that wine, beer, and liquor all have similar effects on cognition.

Air pollution could be significant cause of dementia – even for those not predisposed

The alcoholism treatment consists of IV therapies and infusions which attempt to reestablish the proper nutritional balance of the body. Patients need to stay in clinics or hospitals for certain periods where they will be closely monitored and treated. Alcohol must be avoided at all costs during the treatment period, a thing which most alcohol abusers find very alcohol and dementia hard to do. This happens because alcohol addicts have become so used to this toxic substance that the body craves it regularly. Due to varied types of presentation and no specific brain pathology, making a diagnosis of ARD becomes difficult. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders may be helpful in diagnosing dementia due to use of alcohol.

Continued consumption of alcohol can cause symptoms to progress and get worse. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome typically presents with three main areas of symptoms. Available epidemiological studies are not sufficient to verify a protective effect of alcohol on dementia development. Read our tips for supporting a person with ARBD (alcohol-related dementia and Wernicke-Korsakoff’s). Alcoholic dementia encompasses several different alcohol-induced neurological conditions that can affect thinking skills.

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