Signs and Symptoms of Wet Brain

There are enzymes in the brain that need thiamine, including several critical neurotransmitters. When someone doesn’t get enough thiamine over a long period of time, they will develop brain damage or wet brain. It is possible to reverse Wernicke syndrome, the first stage of wet brain. Normally, this is treated with thiamine injections or having vitamin B1 directly put into the body through an IV (Bhargava, 2020).

It helps the body process fats and proteins and break down carbohydrates. The lack of thiamine may also result in shrinkage of certain areas of the brain; this is commonly seen in people with wet brain. Wet brain syndrome develops in two distinct stages, Wernicke’s Encephalopathy and Korsakoff Psychosis. Hopefully a better understanding of these conditions will lead to more people seeking treatment before they progress to the later stages. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, we are here to offer nonjudgmental and professional care. Wet brain goes by many different names, such as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, alcohol dementia, alcoholic encephalopathy and Korsakoff psychosis.

What is Wet Brain?

Thiamine, or vitamin B1, deficiency causes this neurological condition. Treatment for Wernicke’s encephalopathy is only effective if a person stops drinking. It’s important to note that thiamine will not improve intellect or memory in wet brain patients. For example, a person in the Korsakoff’s psychosis stage of wet brain may begin to notice tachycardia or a more rapid heartbeat. They may also notice problems in their central nervous system and extremities, like hands and feet. Other symptoms when a person develops Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, they experience loss of mental capacity, motor function, and eye movement or vision.

Our treatment approach uses a combination of medication and counseling. We work with you to build a treatment plan that will help you find the path to long-term recovery. If you struggle with chronic alcoholism, know that you aren’t alone, and it’s not too late to make a change.We offer a combination of both scientifically proven and evidence-based holistic treatment methods. This therapy helps identify the underlying emotional causes behind a drinking problem, thus equipping alcoholics with better coping mechanisms.

Wernicke’s Encephalopathy

For example, one metabolite reflects nerve cell activity, another metabolite
reflects the degradation and formation (i.e., turnover) of cell membrane components,
and a third metabolite reflects cellular energy levels. Moreover, only some
of these reductions in metabolite levels were reversed when the subjects were
tested again after 3 weeks and then 3 months of abstinence. Therefore, the resulting impairment in the functioning
of the thiamine–using enzymes primarily affects the cardiovascular and
nervous systems.

  • A brain scan may show evidence of wet brain, due to brain swelling from Wernicke encephalopathy; however, most doctors diagnose the condition by examining the list of symptoms.
  • Take the first step toward recovery, and speak with a representative of The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake today.
  • Alcohol is the main cause behind wet brain syndrome as it prevents the body from utilizing thiamine and reduces the thiamine stores in our body.

Both of these molecules are essential for the production of numerous other
important molecules in the cell. Ribose–5–phosphate is needed for
the synthesis of nucleic acids, complex sugar molecules, and other compounds. NADPH provides hydrogen atoms for chemical reactions that result in the production
of steroids, fatty acids, amino acids, certain neurotransmitters, and other
molecules. In addition, NADPH plays an important role in the synthesis of glutathione,
a compound that is essential in the body’s defense against oxidative stress. To function properly, all cells require certain levels of NADPH and ribose–5–phosphate,
and the biochemical reaction mediated by transketolase is crucial for maintaining
the appropriate levels of both molecules.

What is wet brain and how does it happen?

Eventually, the body will form beriberi, a disorder that affects the circulatory and nervous systems. In the most extreme cases of beriberi, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome will develop. Wernicke’s encephalopathy mush brain is a condition where neurological symptoms become present in the patient due to biochemical lesions of the nervous system. When WKS is diagnosed, the person will be placed on IV thiamine infusion therapy.

  • Heart rate, eye movements, body temperature, and even a person’s walk could all signal a doctor to a possible thiamine deficiency.
  • The liver naturally releases thiamine into the body in an active state.
  • Wet brain syndrome is a form of dementia that primarily affects chronic, long-term alcoholics at the end stages of their disease.
  • These include memory screenings, cognitive tests, labs to determine thiamine levels, eye exams and walking tests.

It is still somewhat controversial, however, whether Korsakoff’s
psychosis always is preceded by WE or whether it develops in fits and starts,
without an overt episode of WE. To begin the journey back to health, alcohol recovery will start with the detox and withdrawal stage. When someone who was in the late stages of alcoholism, such as someone with wet brain, the detox process can become risky.

A daily schedule of treatment and related activities keeps the person fully immersed in their recovery efforts. If wet brain is not treated, it will progress from Wernicke on to Korsakoff’s, and can be fatal in 20% of those afflicted. Korsakoff’s is a chronic condition that features memory impairment, learning problems, and even hallucinations. Vitamin B1, or thiamine, deficiency is the cause of this serious disease. When someone consumes alcohol it blocks the absorption of thiamine by causing inflammation in the gut. Also, in late stage alcoholism, the person may prefer to drink instead of eating a healthy diet.

If you or a loved one is displaying wet brain symptoms, it is extremely important to seek medical attention immediately. Seeking immediate treatment can reverse and help prevent a further progression of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Without treatment, wet brain can be a life-threatening, debilitating condition. So, what—exactly—is a “wet brain?” According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is really two different disorders. Wet brain is called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome because the lack of thiamine results in two conditions, as described by the National Library of Medicine’s MedLine Plus. The first, Wernicke’s encephalopathy, is caused by brain damage in the thalamus and hypothalamus areas that affect sensory input and hormonal activities in the brain, affecting vision and coordination.

Leave a Reply