What is Wet Brain? Stages, Signs & Causes

Researchers have identified at least one person with WKS
whose cells showed enhanced sensitivity to thiamine deficiency and in whom the
assembly factor was defective (Wang et al. 1997). If a person is exhibiting signs of wet brain, they will need to be treated for nutritional deficiencies in a hospital. IV injections of B vitamins and magnesium can help reverse the symptoms of wet brain. Patients may also need to stay in the hospital for a period of time, so medical professionals can adequately monitor their condition and prevent adverse health problems from alcohol withdrawal syndrome. At its core, wet brain is a form of brain damage from severe, long-term alcohol abuse.

  • Long-term, heavy alcohol abuse is the most common cause of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
  • Alcoholism is a disease that can cause long-term damage to a person’s health, relationships, finances, loved ones and future.
  • If you are lucky to have gotten an early diagnosis, the damage done to your brain is still reversible.
  • Either Wernicke encephalopathy will transition into the second stage of wet brain and cause permanent brain damage, or it will be treated and resolved without causing damage.
  • Statistics also point out that more men are affected by this syndrome compared to women; similarly, people in the age bracket of years are most impacted by it.

However, current statistics show that more men than women have wet brain, and the age groups most affected by the disorder are between the ages of 30 and 70. Therefore, the resulting impairment in the functioning
of the thiamine–using enzymes primarily affects the cardiovascular and
nervous systems. The classical manifestations of thiamine deficiency–related
heart disease include increased blood flow through the vessels in the body,
heart failure, and sodium and water retention in the blood. In the brain, thiamine
is required both by the nerve cells (i.e., neurons) and by other supporting
cells in the nervous system (i.e., glia cells). Because heavy alcohol abuse is a key cause of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, to recover and prevent the disorder from worsening, it is important to stop heavy alcohol use.

Addiction and Mental Health Resources

Those who receive thiamine supplements early on are more likely to recover. With that said, they may still sustain some minor permanent damages to the brain. Transketolase is an important sober house
enzyme in a biochemical pathway called the pentose phosphate pathway. Both of these molecules are essential for the production of numerous other
important molecules in the cell.

  • To rule out other causes of symptoms, like a stroke, doctors often conduct imaging and additional testing.
  • Here, at AspenRidge Recovery, we can help you treat an alcohol addiction.
  • On the other hand, oral supplements will also help in the production and utilization of thiamine.
  • We utilize an accessibility interface that allows persons with specific disabilities to adjust the website’s UI (user interface) and design it to their personal needs.

A nutritional screening is another important step in diagnosing wet brain from alcoholic symptoms. Many people struggling with substance abuse eventually become malnourished due to self-neglect, and vitamin deficiency plays a large role in the formation of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. If a patient has advanced to Korsakoff’s psychosis, he or she will often attempt to fill in memory gaps with fictional stories, or begin displaying other signs of memory loss and psychological anguish. Memory loss is an extremely distressful experience, and individuals who experience significant memory loss may begin to doubt their identities and lose touch with reality. Hallucinations are common among individuals struggling with this condition, and these hallucinations can be dangerous. A person who feels disconnected from reality or who cannot remember crucial details about his or her life may lash out unexpectedly or act in very uncharacteristic ways.

Wernicke encephalopathy

Korsakoff psychosis, also called Korsakoff syndrome, is the late stage of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. This stage of wet brain results in permanent brain damage that cannot be treated. While Korsakoff psychosis is less likely to cause a coma or death than Wernicke encephalopathy, it is a form of brain damage that will normally require someone to be constantly taken care of.

Rehabilitation for alcohol use can help people break the cycle of addiction and receive the supportive care they need. Treatment for this condition is typically focused on controlling symptoms that already exist and preventing them from worsening over time. Unfortunately, it is not likely that symptoms that have already begun to form could be reversed. Some individuals need to stay in a hospital where they can receive vitamin B1 injections.

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