We provide specialised residential care and rehabilitation for adults with alcohol related conditions such as Korsakoff’s syndrome. Our homes provide safe, structured, supportive environments. We offer programmes of recreational activities and therapies to keep clients active and improve their quality of life and independence.
Alcohol Related Brain Damage (ARBD)
The terminology involved with alcohol related brain damaged can be confusing. Some of the main terms are explained below. We hope these links to fact sheets produced by Alcohol Concern, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland may be of assistance.
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) Deficiency
Thiamine is an essential vitamin which is needed for the body’s nervous system (which includes the brain), heart and muscles to function properly. A thiamine deficiency can lead to a number of diseases including brain disorders.
Wernicke-Korsakoff’s syndrome (WKS) is a form of brain damage caused by a thiamine deficiency mainly resulting form of alcohol misuse. The term WKS actually describes the two related disorders Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s syndrome.
Those suffering from Wernicke’s encephalopathy may exhibit symptoms of:
- poor balance or staggering gait
- disturbed vision
- abnormal eye movements
Symptoms can develop quickly. Thiamine is used to form part of the structure of blood vessels. If thiamine is deficient the blood vessels in the brain can leak, damaging the parts of the brain that are involved with forming new memories and muscle co-ordination. The surrounding brain tissue is damaged by the clots solidifying.
If Wernicke’s encephalopathy goes untreated it may progress on to Korsakoff’s syndrome, which is also referred to as Korsakoff’s psychosis. Korsakoff’s syndrome is the chronic form of the disease which is not easily or quickly resolved. Symptoms displayed include varying degrees of:
- short-term memory loss
- difficulty in dealing with new information
- apathy, lack of spontaneity and initiative
- repetitive behaviour
- confabulation (filling gaps in memories by making up connecting events)
Those exhibiting Korsakoff’s syndrome will usually benefit from being provided with help in their daily lives.
If you need help or further information the following link may be useful:
Alcohol Concern is the national agency on alcohol misuse. It works to reduce the incidence and costs of alcohol-related harm and to increase the range and quality of services available to people with alcohol-related problems.