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Does Wet Brain Go Away?

a man suffers from symptoms of wet brain as a result of chronic alcohol abuse

Alcohol is a big part of society: some people drink with meals, others drink when socializing, and still, others drink to relax. Unfortunately, habitual alcohol drinking can lead to addiction, which carries with it a number of difficulties and health risks. One of these risks is something called ‘wet brain,’ which can occur due to chronic alcohol consumption. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with this condition, you may be looking for alcohol addiction treatment. Learning more about wet brain can empower you to advocate for yourself or a loved one when seeking recovery care. Call Northpoint Seattle today at 888.483.6031 for more information about the long-term effects of alcohol abuse and the treatment options available.

What Is Wet Brain?

‘Wet brain’ is really a combination of two different medical conditions. The official name of the condition is Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. A syndrome is a group of symptoms and conditions that often occur together. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is caused by a thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. The two conditions are:

  • Wernicke’s encephalopathy – Wernicke’s encephalopathy happens when the body exhausts its supply of vitamin B1. This causes a lesion (or lesions) to form, damaging the nervous system’s ability to send and receive signals as well as coordinate movement.
  • Korsakoff syndrome – This condition is caused by vitamin B1 deficiency as well but involves damage to the limbic system, which is thought to be involved in the formation and storage of memories.

What Are the Symptoms of Wet Brain?

People with wet brain or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome can have an array of symptoms, but three common concerns are:

  • Vision changes – involuntary movements of the eyes or paralysis of muscles relating to eye movement, or a combination of the two
  •  Ataxia – this term refers to uncoordinated movements that make walking and moving difficult
  • Memory impairment – amnesia, quickly forgetting information, inability to learn new information

How Is Wet Brain Treated?

Early in the process, patients who are diagnosed with Wernicke’s encephalopathy can be given vitamin B1 in an attempt to improve their condition. Unfortunately, not all patients respond to this treatment, especially if their condition has been progressing for a long period of time. Some patients will see partial improvements while still continuing to experience symptoms even after therapy with vitamin B1. For patients who have progressed into full-on Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, vitamin B1 may still be given, along with other treatments to support good nutrition, proper hydration, and discontinuation of alcohol use.

Does Wet Brain Go Away?

While Wernicke’s encephalopathy can be reversed with proper treatment, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome has no cure. However, patients with this condition can experience improved symptoms and better management of their disease if they participate in treatment for alcohol use disorder. Getting help to stop drinking is the best way to prevent symptoms from worsening. Many people who receive treatment for alcohol addiction are able to prevent the progression of the disease if it is caught at an early stage. Wet brain is a tragic yet preventable condition that, with proper treatment for alcohol use disorder, need not even happen.

Northpoint Seattle: Offering Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

At our two locations in Bellevue and Seattle, Washington, we offer outpatient programs designed to provide the care our patients need in a way that works for them. Each patient receives an individualized treatment plan that sets out goals for recovery based on the patient’s unique needs. Many different insurance plans are accepted so that our patients can worry less about cost and more about focusing on recovery.

Northpoint Seattle is committed to helping our patients and their families heal and recover from addiction. If you or someone you care about has been struggling to quit drinking or is concerned about the impact that alcohol is having on physical health, reach out to us today at 888.483.6031 or via our online form.