alcoholic effects on the brain encephalopathy

Wernicke Korsakoff Syndrome – What happens when you heavily drink?

LaVona Tomberlin End of Life Issues, Life Transitions, Senior Living Tips

What happens when you drink heavily? Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome is a serious issue for our parents who heavily imbibe now or were heavy drinkers earlier in their life. Basically Wernicke can level out but it does not completely go away.  Korsakoff is the second part of a two part syndrome and it changes the gait of their walk and weakens them to the point that they are very wobbly and unstable while standing.  This is when alcohol effects have really taken the body and this part rarely goes away.  The syndrome together is the effect of alcohol damage to the brain and is terminal. Drinking alone does not cause it.  Excessive drinking over a prolonged time is the cause. Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS) is one name for 2 conditions that often happen together. Wernicke is encephalopathy and it is often accompanied by Korsakoff syndrome. It is thought to be different stages of the same disease. A deficit of vitamin B1 or thiamine is the culprit. Thiamine or vitamin B1 helps the brain turn sugar to energy. When there is a deficit of this vitamin the brain does not function well. It typically comes on suddenly and immediate treatment is needed. Symptoms include …