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How does alcohol affect the ageing brain?

(4 Posts)
Corygal Tue 17-Mar-15 20:00:16

Dad's 78 - he's had dementia symptoms since his mid-60s. It ain't Alzheimers because he's been doolally so long if it were Alz. he would be a zombie by now, and he's not had a stroke so it can't be vascular dementia.

He drinks about 15 units a night, every night. The dementia is getting worse - he's just rung to accuse me of stealing money (that, actually, I gave him) on Sunday.

To our family horror, he was cleared of dementia by a hospital screening last year, although he may have been fibbing.

What I really want to know is how much the amount of alcohol he drinks could be responsible for his condition. How do I find out? Does anyone know whether sinking this amount of scotch could produce dementia symptoms for this long and this continuously?

RubyReins Sun 12-Apr-15 14:43:08

Watching this with interest. My mother has advanced early onset Alzheimers and she puts away at least one bottle of wine a night that we know of (we have caught her swigging from bottles too). I desperately want her to cut down but you just can't talk to her and my dad feels helpless. She is tiny too and gets pissed very quickly. I think it must have a negative impact but really don't know what to do.

whataboutbob Sun 12-Apr-15 15:05:34

I'm no expert but certainly alcoholism can cause a kind of dementia. Confabulation (making stuff up) is a symptom. There a poster called mamadoc who's a psychogeriatirician, hopefully she'll post too.

CoopedUp Fri 22-May-15 22:45:13

There is a dementia type illness called Korsakoff's. The Alzheimer's Society has good fact sheets - on all types of dementia and other topics like changes in behaviour. Health professionals might find your observations useful if there are further concerns about your Dad's health & memory.
Can you accompany your Dad to a follow up to help advocate for him? I recognise this might cause you some discomfort if you've never talked about alcohol consumption as a cause for concern, but it might raise some new things to investigate for the people involved in his care. Keep your communication lines open with everyone who could help you. I hope you can find out OP.

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