Wet Brain Syndrome: Wernicke-Korsakoff Disease Stages And Symptoms

Some scientists believe that, rather than two conditions, this is two parts of one condition in which the chronic stage is Korsakoff’s syndrome while the acute phase is Wernicke’s encephalopathy. So, what—exactly—is a “wet brain?” According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is really two different disorders. Alcoholism is the most common cause of wet brain, though it is not the only one. Nonetheless, alcoholism is typically the cause of the wet brain because alcohol interferes with the absorption of thiamine as well as the enzyme that activates thiamine in the body.

It is also not possible to accurately estimate who all has wet brain because many people with severe alcoholism do not seek treatment or are homeless and are not evaluated for the condition. 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. While the first stage of wet brain is reversible, if wet brain progresses to the second stage full recovery is not possible. Treating the second stage of wet brain is the same as treating the first stage and requires vitamin B1 injections. While some patients in the second stage of wet brain will have some symptoms reverse, there is typically permanent brain damage.

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So long as they quit drinking alcohol and improve their diet, they should experience a full recovery. However, once it progresses to Korsakoff’s psychosis, the brain damage can be permanent. Some symptoms might improve with treatment, but memory deficits often remain.

We combine evidence-based treatments for alcohol use disorder with innovative musical practices to restore you to health. Our treatment team is laser-focused on giving you all the tools you could need to thrive once again. In particular, your brain cells need thiamine to synthesize several other enzymes.

The Under-Discussed Consequence of Alcohol Use Disorder: ‘Wet Brain’

When WKS disease reaches severe levels, the mortality rate is as high as 20 percent. Around two percent of the U.S. population suffers from https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/wet-mush-brain-from-alcoholism-symptoms-and-dangers/ disease, mostly those with alcohol issues. That said, treating wet brain is more effective if the condition is discovered early. The first stage of wet brain can be reversed with vitamin B1 injections. Once vitamin B1 levels return to normal in the brain, symptoms decline and patients can make a full recovery. Treatment for the first stage of wet brain needs to be completed by a medical professional and may or may not require hospitalization.

Alcohol rehab can offer your loved one a number of services to help overcome substance abuse and learn the tools that are conducive with long-term sobriety. During alcohol rehab, one of the most common services offered is medically assisted detoxification. However, with early detection and proper treatment, individuals can have improved outcomes. The life-threatening aspects can be mitigated, but long-term memory problems and cognitive issues may persist. It’s also important for patients to stop drinking alcohol during treatment.

Exploring the Symptoms and Dangers of Alcoholism

The disorder is broken down into two stages called Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s psychosis. If the patient is diagnosed during the Wernicke’s encephalopathy stage, some symptoms may be reversible with prompt vitamin B1 treatment. However, if the condition has progressed to Korsakoff’s syndrome, the symptoms are generally not reversible.

  • The underlying condition is a thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency caused by chronic alcohol use, but sometimes malnutrition is also present.
  • Once you have recognized the symptoms of the wet brain in yourself or someone close to you, it is important to get treatment as soon as possible.
  • If you aren’t treated for Wernicke encephalopathy quickly, it can lead to Korsakoff syndrome.
  • Wet brain disorder progresses through two distinct stages, each characterized by specific sets of symptoms.

Korsakoff psychosis causes permanent brain damage that affects memory. The longer someone lives with the symptoms of https://ecosoberhouse.com/ syndrome, the less chance there is of reversing the condition. The second stage of wet brain develops when the first stage goes untreated.