Posted by Larry Hoover on May 4, 2005, at 8:29:13
In reply to chemist: alcohol? how much?, posted by AMD on April 30, 2005, at 18:34:26
> I keep reading about the potential for dementia, permanent brain damage, liver damage, etc., all caused by "excessive" alcohol use, vitamin B deficiency, etc.
Your taking a vitamin supplement is a good idea. Your liver does indeed need supplies of nutrients if one is in the habit of consuming toxic substances requiring liver processing. The same goes for most pharmaceutical drugs, by the way.
The alcoholic dementias, e.g. Korsakoff's memory syndrome, or Wernicke's encephalopathy, both arise from the thiamine (B1) deficiency brought on by two things: years of chronic heavy drinking, *and* the poor diet that such drinking promotes.
Alcohol to the point of stupor does not produce measurable defects in cognitive capacity, once the effects have totally worn off. That includes hangover effects, obviously. Everyone knows that hangovers are not conducive to higher thinking.
> Then again, I can tell my memory has been slightly impaired, particularly the days after drinking, and now I'm worried this won't rectify itself.
It most certainly will normalize again. However, the idea that your liver will rebound to its former state is not nearly as certain.
> Information would be very useful!
How about some personal experience? I drank to stupor, daily, for years and years and years. I truly believe I have recovered all my former cognitive skills, although full recovery took a little over a year of full abstinence.