Alcoholism leads to a variety of health care complications, including the risk for developing long term mental health issues. If you are caring for a loved one who chronically abuses alcohol consumption, it is important to become familiar with the issues associated with alcohol induced dementia.
Over time, the excessive and prolonged use of alcohol can lead to physical and mental health impairment. While alcohol use can adversely affect the immediate state of the mind, the more complex health issue may be the dementia that can develop when Lewy bodies, in the brain, are damaged. In rare cases, frontal lobe aneurysm may develop first but often there are other signs that indicate this complication is present and dementia may be on the horizon in the alcoholic’s health profile.
Lewy bodies are a biological component of healthy brain function and, when damaged can lead to complications of alcohol induced dementia. Typically, when a person suffers from this type of dementia related condition, the signs will begin to appear far earlier than that seen in traditional dementia cases. With cognitive changes typically seen first, if your loved one seems to have changes in mental function, investigation into a dementia related condition should be addressed.
With functional MRI studies as well as blood work, many complications associated with alcohol induced dementia can be diagnosed. Brain rehabilitation may be needed to further assess the degree to which dementia is a health concern. Once confirmed as suffering from Lewy body cell damage, then treatment to slow the progression of further damage will need to be considered – including the consideration for alcohol detox and alcohol rehabilitation services.
The long term impact of alcohol induced dementia is quite profound and often results in shortened life span, earlier mortality, and even a series of physiological health changes due to poor brain function. Ultimately, the earlier that alcohol abuse can be treated and reversed, the greater likelihood of preserving long term health of the brain and avoiding dementia complications.
Alcohol induced dementia is a complex health condition that plagues the health of those with an alcohol addiction. If you are caring for a loved one who consumes alcohol regularly, be sure you are familiar with these signs and symptoms and what treatment options should be considered once the complications of cognitive impairment become apparent.
Sources: Vascular Dementia, by Robert H. Paul