Right from the historic times, alcohol has been a part of the human society. Be it celebration, hangouts, parties or at times in depressive mood, alcohol has been the part of everything. People consume alcohol and it is quite a common norm in many societies. In many countries like Germany, beer fest is celebrated where the theme of the festival itself is alcohol. Also at times alcohol does have some beneficiary qualities that prove good for the body. But the thing is that everything has to be in limitation. Nothing excessive of anything is ever good and same thing goes with alcohol too.
It is needless to say that over a period of time if you keep on consuming alcohol excessively then it causes addiction and then from that other kind of health complications starts evolving. One such problem that can emerge due to prolonged and heavy consumption of alcohol is Korsakoff’s syndrome. This is a brain syndrome which is generally associated with heavy alcohol consumption over a long period of time. The disorder of Korsakoff’s syndrome is generally caused by the lack of thiamine (vitamin B1) that affects the brain and the nervous system. The people who consume alcohol very heavily often have the problem of thiamine deficiency. The causes of Korsakoff’s syndrome can be several. Many of the heavy drinkers have very poor eating habits and their diet does not contain the essential vitamins. Another reason is that alcohol can also interfere with the conversion of thiamine into the active form of vitamin. Heavy consumption of alcohol can inflame the stomach lining and cause nauseas feeling and heavy vomiting as well which makes it difficult for the body to absorb the key vitamins that it receives. Alcohol also makes it tougher for the liver as well for storing the vitamins.
The main damage that Korsakoff’s syndrome does is to the part of the brains. This can affect both men and women as well. It results in severe short term memory loss. There are few symptoms of Korsakoff’s syndrome that you may be identify in a person like difficulty in acquiring new information as well as well as learning new skills. Drastic change in the individual’s personality. The person may show apathy and lacks emotional reaction and concern or at the other end might become talkative or have repetitive behavior. The people with this disorder lack insight of the condition and even with large memory gaps they believe their memory is functioning properly.
The issue of Korsakoff’s syndrome cannot be diagnosed until and unless the person stops drinking alcohol for several weeks together. Primarily, lab tests and physical examination and taking a complete medical history are included. Psychological tests of the person’s memory and other abilities will be carried out later. The person will be kept under observation to check whether his condition stabilizes or worsens without the use of alcohol. If needed the person may be sent to rehab as well for treatment and diet containing good amount of vitamins will be given to the patient for speedy recovery.