What Is The Wet Brain Syndrome?

What Is The Wet Brain Syndrome?

Chronic alcoholics are in great danger of contracting the Wet Brain Syndrome. Wet Brain, or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, is a form of brain damage. Contrary to popular belief, brain damage from alcohol abuse isn’t caused by killing the brain cells. Studies have indicated that it is in fact caused by thiamine deficiency. Because alcohol affects the body’s ability to absorb thiamine, Vitamin B1, chronic alcohol abuse often results in the Korsakoff syndrome.

The Korsakoff syndrome is an alcohol related dementia.
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The stages of the development of the Korsakoff Syndrome

Thiamine is essential for allowing glucose to be converted in the brain. For this reason, those with thiamine deficiencies should not have large amounts of sugar or carbohydrates intake. Over time, the deficiency leads to brain cell death and can cause structural damage to certain areas of the brain, including the cerebral cortex, the brain stem, and the pons.

How to Prevent the Korsakoff Syndrome

The best way to prevent the Wet Brain Syndrome is to avoid heavy drinking and have a healthy, balanced diet. Chronic alcoholics find it hard to get all the nutrition they need due to nausea. Since alcohol blocks the absorption of thiamine, alcoholics need to take vitamin supplements to rebalance their diet.

Some of the symptoms of the Korsakoff Syndrome

  • Staggering or an irregular gait.
  • Lack of muscular coordination.
  • Confabulation.
  • Confusion; often manifests as an apparent apathy and unresponsiveness to verbal communication
  • Difficulty forming new memories.
  • Dementia.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Loss of control over eye movements like strange eye movements, double vision, drooping eyelids.

Wet Brain has a mortality of around 20%. If discovered in the initial stages, it can be treated. The first stage, known as Wernicke’s encephalopathy, the person can still be treated if given prompt thiamine injections. If the disease advances to the second stage 2, known as Korsakoff’s psychosis, and is untreated, the damage is permanent and generally irreversible. The condition can only be ameliorated through treatment and some symptoms can be managed.

Final Words

If the Korsakoff Syndrome is treated early enough, patients can be expected to make a full recovery. This article is just for informative purposes. So if you know an alcoholic suffering from any of the above symptoms, get them tested for the Wet Brain Syndrome immediately.

Image source: glutenfreesociety.org

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Sagar is co-founder and CTO at Multia, a leading creative agency in Pune. He started his venture when he was 16, he has won numerous international and national web development competitions and has worked on 100+ web, mobile and online marketing projects. He’s a globe-trotter and has traveled to San Francisco, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dubai, Jakarta and Bali Islands.
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