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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alcohol abuse causes Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome due to Vitamin B1 deficiency. The Korsakoff part of the syndrome refers to advanced irreversible anterograde and retrograde amnesia due to changes in the limbic system. There are parallels between this and the use of benzos. Benzos. have a similar, but more specific, mechanism of action to alcohol. (Benzos act on GABA receptors. Alcohol acts on GABA receptors plus various other receptors.) Benzos also mainly affect the limbic system because here is where we have the highest concentration of GABA receptors.
Is there any evidence that memory loss from benzo use is like memory loss from alcohol (ab)use in WK syndrome? If so B1 supplementation should prevent the memory loss.

Ok, this is a completely un - researched (by me) idea, however, there are plenty of people here, who know a great deal about pharmacology and medicine. Hopefully, will comment whether this idea has merit or is rubbish. :)

ps. the title should say preventing not treating memory loss because AFAIK Korsakoff psychosis is irreversible.
 

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I'm sorry but I don't think you're theory makes any sense if I understood it the right way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ok, let me reword the post. see if it helps.
-Alcohol works like benzos. Both act on GABA receptors in the limbic region of the brain.
-Alcohol abuse causes memory loss, just like benzos.
-Memory loss due to alcohol can be prevented by taking B1. If perhaps both drugs share similar mechanisms, then B1 could be useful in preventing memory loss from benzos.

ps. Is there any research on this? Unproven theories are pretty useless by themselves, I was wondering if anyone knew more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ok, I just talked with a friend who is in a neuroscience PhD program. EtOH abuse related WK syndrome causes a bunch of problems other than memory loss and these are not seen with benzos. So it is unlikely that memory loss due to EtOH and benzos is caused by similar mechanism and therefore B1 wouldn't be useful.
 

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Memory loss due to alcohol can be prevented by taking B1.
How do you come to this conclusion? Do you mean the brains of normals people?
 

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Thiamine would help people with B1 deficiency (thus maybe be shown effective in non-specific trials of benzo-users), but past correcting a deficiency I doubt it would be of much use to benzo users.

The memory problems come from activating amnestic (or otherwise impairing) subreceptors of GABA. In particular, alpha-5 is of interest -- see this drug: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Α5IA.

Other than that, cholinergic supplements and other nootropics are likely to benefit cognition in benzo-users.
 
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