Can Alcohol Cause Lewy Body Dementia?

Robert Gerchalk

Robert is our health care professional reviewer of this website. He worked for many years in mental health and substance abuse facilities in Florida, as well as in home health (medical and psychiatric), and took care of people with medical and addictions problems at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He has a nursing and business/technology degrees from The Johns Hopkins University.

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Can Alcoholism Cause Lewy Body Dementia?

Alcoholism is a disease that not only affects the drinker, but also those around them. It’s a chronic, progressive disease that can lead to physical and mental damage. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA),

“Alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial.”

One of the less known effects of alcoholism is its potential to cause Lewy body dementia. Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a type of dementia that causes problems with thinking, movement, behavior, and mood. People with LBD may have hallucinations and delusions. They may also have trouble moving and may fall often.

It’s not known exactly how alcoholism can lead to LBD. But it’s thought that alcoholism may damage cells in the brain that are important for movement and thinking. This damage may lead to the symptoms of LBD.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, it’s important to seek help. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one get treatment and support.