Wet Brain Syndrome: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

Wet Brain Syndrome: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

What people tend to not think about, or might not even know about, is a condition known as wet brain. Glucose, a type of sugar, also increases the likelihood of developing an alcoholic wet brain. Because alcohol is turned into glucose sugar in the body, the risk factors of developing WKS, or wet brain, are increased for long-term alcoholics.

  • These effects may be permanent and unchangeable.Oxford University Pressreckoned that between 10 to 24 per cent of brain damage and dementia occurrences might be related to alcoholism.
  • Figure 2 The thiamine–dependent enzyme transketolase is an important enzyme in the breakdown of glucose through a biochemical pathway called the pentose phosphate pathway.
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  • Wernicke encephalopathy and Korsakoff syndromeare two different conditions that often occur together as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

Unfortunately for those who deal with Wernicke Encephalopathy, Korsakoff Syndrome is one residual effect of this problem. The problem is characterized by global amnesia and cognitive and behavioral dysfunction. Vitamin B1 should be given as soon as possible to patients presenting with symptoms of the wet brain.

Alcohol Rehab

Overall, the condition is present in about 1 to 2 percent of the population between the ages of 30 to 70-years old. Men usually appear to experience a slightly greater risk for the condition than women. A lack of thiamine can devastate certain regions of the brain like the hypothalamus, which regulates emotions, growth, appetite, and body temperature. Transport within the cells to the areas where the thiamine is needed (e.g., to the cell’s energy factories, the mitochondria, where PDH and α–KGDH act, or to the nucleus, where thiamine regulates gene activity).

If treatment is, in fact, done correctly, Wernicke encephalopathy can be helped and symptoms can be reversed, but the patient must also quit drinking in order for this to last. Although non-alcoholics can develop a thiamine deficiency that causes WKS, it is termed “alcoholic wet brain” because the most common way to develop the illness is through prolonged alcohol use.

What Treatment Options are Available for Those with Wet Brain Syndrome?

However, these vision changes do not improve during periods of sobriety, and the person is likely to experience worsening of vision problems, which lead to nystagmus, a rapid back-and-forth movement of the eyes. At this point, if the disease is recognized and immediately treated it is possible for the effects of the disease to be reversed and for the patient to regain normal functioning. People with WKS often show confabulation, spontaneous confabulation being seen more frequently than provoked confabulation. Spontaneous confabulations refer to incorrect memories that the patient holds to be true, and may act on, arising spontaneously without any provocation. Provoked confabulations can occur when a patient is cued to give a response, this may occur in test settings. It has also been suggested that this behaviour may be due to executive dysfunction where they are unable to inhibit incorrect memories or because they are unable to shift their attention away from an incorrect response. Thiamine is essential for converting sugar to energy in our bodies and creating chemical messengers in our brains.

Wet Brain Syndrome: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment插图1

Presence of thiamine deficient encephalopathy can occur in conjunction with these symptoms. This can occur due to Wernicke encephalopathy, eating disorders, malnutrition, and alcohol abuse. 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. Though this is not the medically accepted terminology, the name wet brain does create a sort of visceral image reminiscent of the late 1980s “This Is Your Brain on Drugs” campaign.

Role of Thiamine Deficiency in Alcoholic Brain Disease

Rehabilitation for alcohol use can help people break the cycle of addiction and receive the supportive care they need. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome takes the first part of its name from Wernicke encephalopathy. This condition is separate from Korsakoff syndrome, although the two are closely linked and usually considered different phases of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Wernicke encephalopathy presents as the early symptoms of wet brain mentioned above, and it’s an acute, short-lived condition. If you recognize any of those early symptoms in a loved one who struggles with alcohol addiction, help them seek immediate treatment.

  • Learn more about our rehab center in Los Angeles or our addiction recovery therapeutic activities.
  • It can potentially become so severe, in fact, that it progresses into coma-like states and even death.
  • Alcoholism can cause people to suffer from cognitive impairment and a lack of coordination.
  • Such prompt administration of thiamine may be a life-saving measure.
  • Binge drinking, which is consuming four or more drinks in two hours for women and five or more drinks in two hours for men, can also lead to wet brain.

Treatment typically involves ingesting thiamine, either intravenously, intramuscularly, or orally, depending on how the person will best tolerate the vitamin. Although treatment will not change brain damage or memory loss that https://ecosoberhouse.com/ occurs from Korsakoff’s psychosis, it can prevent or delay any further progression of wet brain. Wet brain can progress in a specific pattern, or both Wernicke encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s syndrome can develop together.

Can Wet Brain Be Reversed?

EVERY person we worked with was not only professional but caring and supportive. The clinical staff are knowledgeable and provide consistent quality treatment. The administrative staff are efficient, friendly and work in a timely manner. Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.

Wet Brain Syndrome: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment插图3

The prognosis of this part of the disease will depend on when thiamine supplementation is prescribed Wet Brain from Alcoholism to patients. Those who receive thiamine supplements early on are more likely to recover.

Wernicke Korsakoff Syndrome: Signs and Symptoms of Wet Brain from Alcohol Abuse

The first part of WKS, Wernicke’s encephalopathy, is a severe and temporary condition characterized by confusion, loss of muscular coordination, and abnormal eye movements and vision changes. If you or a loved one is drinking heavily over long periods, your risk of developing WKS is higher than normal. WKS is preventable, and the best way to prevent it is to stop drinking alcohol. We strive to make admission to Summit Malibu as simple and straightforward as possible.

How does Korsakoff syndrome typically progress?

Korsakoff's syndrome

It usually develops gradually. Brain damage occurs in areas of the brain important for short-term memory. The main symptom is memory loss – particularly of events occurring after the onset of the condition. Sometimes, memories of the more distant past can also be affected.

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