chapter  75
Alcohol-related dementia and Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome
ByStephen C. Bowden, Simon J. Scalzo
Pages 11

Alcohol abuse and dependence is an increasing public health concern worldwide, and excessive alcohol intake is a risk factor for cognitive impairment (Caetano and Babor, 2006; Christensen et al., 2006; Gupta and Warner, 2008). e severity of impairment across individuals may vary from subtle impairments that are dicult to detect at clinical interview, or masked by intoxication, through to a severe dementia, which may persist long aer drinking ceases (Victor, 1994; Ritchie and Villebrun, 2008). Within any one individual, cognitive impairment associated with excessive alcohol use may vary across time, perhaps associated with level of alcohol intake, general nutritional and health status and other factors less well understood (Lishman, 1998; Bowden and Ritter, 2005; Pfeerbaum, et al., 2007; Bates et al., 2008). Excessive alcohol use is an underappreciated problem in older people, in the age range at highest risk for dementia (Gupta and Warner, 2008; Perney et al., 2008).