Amnestic Disorder due to use of alcohol is caused by long-term, heavy use of alcohol. The exact mechanism of how alcohol causes this disorder is not known, but it is believed to be due to damage to the hippocampus and other areas of the brain that are responsible for memory and learning.
Diagnosis of Amnestic Disorder due to use of alcohol is made based on medical history, physical examination and laboratory tests. The medical history should include questions about alcohol use and should also include a mental status examination to assess memory and cognitive function. Laboratory tests may be performed to rule out other causes of memory loss, such as thyroid or vitamin deficiencies.
Differential diagnosis includes Alcohol Intoxication and Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome, which can cause similar symptoms of memory loss. Other causes of memory loss such as dementia, stroke, and metabolic disorders should also be ruled out.
Treatment of Amnestic Disorder due to use of alcohol includes abstinence from alcohol, as well as cognitive and behavioral therapies to help improve memory and learning. Medications may also be used to help reduce cravings for alcohol.
The prognosis for Amnestic Disorder due to use of alcohol is generally good, especially if treatment is started early. However, even if treatment is successful, some memory loss may be permanent.