Your drinking Facts and statistics Alcohol and Dementia Dementia is a broad term used to describe a set of brain disorder symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. There are many different types and causes of dementia which collectively, annually, costs the UK economy £26.3 billion. The exact relationship between alcohol and dementia is debated. Alcohol, a neurotoxin, can cause damage to nerve cells and blood vessels, leading to brain shrinkage. Find out more here.