Alcohol Dementia vs Alzheimer’s

Confused about the difference between alcohol dementia and Alzheimer's disease? Learn about the unique symptoms and treatment options for each form of dementia, as well as the potential risks and challenges for caregivers.

Alcohol Dementia vs Alzheimer’s

Is it alcohol dementia vs Alzheimer’s disease?

Recent studies have revealed a significant link between alcohol and dementia. Dementia causes a slow diminishment of cognitive function,. It affects several critical areas of the brain… including memory, speech, motor function and reasoning.

It has ben found that a history of alcohol abuse adds to an individual’s risk for developing dementia. Alcohol related dementia is treatable and reversible, if caught early. If left untreated, the brain damage will become permanent.

Dementia Overview

Dementia is essentially a progressive decline in a person’s normal cognitive function. This is typically the result of damage to the brain in some form or another. This condition is more common among older adults. It is important that you know that dementia is in no way a normal part of aging. Dementia can be the result of a brain damaging injury. Or due to an illness….an illness that somehow interferes with brain function… such as Huntington-related dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Dementia symptoms may include …

  • Short term memory loss
  • Paranoia
  • Personality changes
  • A characteristic lack of reasoning and judgment.

There are numerous causes and different types of dementia. Not all of them are treatable. In certain cases, symptoms of dementia are reversible if … the main cause has not created permanent brain damage.

Alcohol Dementia vs Alzheimer’s

While Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia, alcohol is not a link to the development of this disease. It has been reported that 15 to 25 percent of dementia cases are caused by long-term alcohol intake. Over time, alcohol begins to affect the brain. It acts as a neurotoxin with negative effects on the nervous system.

Over time, alcohol use can cause serious malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. The vitamins that the alcohol takes away from the body promote a healthy brain function. Without them, the onset of dementia symptoms is likely to occur.

Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies and excess alcohol intake prompts liver damage. In conjunction, it allows brain shrinkage and brain damage. This only aids in the development of dementia.

Alzheimer’s related dementia tends to present later in life. Alcohol related dementia commonly presents itself nearly 10 years earlier. Patients of alcohol related dementia experience a less severe array of symptoms. They have diminished cognitive function. Irreversible cases of alcohol related dementia could result in an earlier death…more than other forms of dementia.

Alcohol Dementia vs Alzheimer’s – Care-Giving Issues

The link between alcohol and dementia creates a slightly different range of symptoms. Different than you would expect to see in a typical dementia patient. Alcohol related dementia patients keep a higher level of function. Those providing care for these patients often find themselves in a unique situation.

Patients suffering from alcohol dementia seem like they are aware of their surroundings. This leads people to believe that they are fine. While they are able to hold conversations, their short term memory is likely impaired. Leaving them openly exposed to many types of danger and exploitation.

Persons suffer from short-term memory loss. This is due to symptoms caused by alcohol and dementia. They may be able to function normally to some extent. But will likely not be able to remember important actions such as… turning off an oven, blowing out candles or locking a door.

These lapses in memory also leave them vulnerable. In fact many try to exploit them, most often financially.

Here is an example…

The patient requires the aid of certain services to help them,. They may or may not be able to remember whether they have paid for those services. This serves as an opportunity for predators to take advantage of the person. It is important for caregivers to help make arrangements. And watch payments for these services. You also want to be sure that you are using reputable services.

More on Alcohol Dementia vs Alzheimer’s … Continued Alcohol Use

There are times a person begins see how alcohol is affecting their life. They see as connection between alcohol and dementia. The patient may continue to abuse alcohol… as a way of coping with the sadness and stress that often created the condition. This in itself can be dangerous. As many of the medications prescribed for dementia treatment actually interact with alcohol. If you think your loved one may still be drinking … consult with their physician for alternative treatments.

The link between alcohol and dementia is undeniable. Ignoring that your loved one is at risk may lead to a debilitating disease and an early death. If you think someone is drinking excessive amounts of alcohol… encourage them to seek help. Long-term use of alcohol causes alcohol related dementia. Seek professional intervention, if necessary. As doing so can potentially save their lives. It can also prevent them from suffering from permanent brain damage.