Vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency is also called “beri-beri”. It is now suggested that a genetic predisposition to this deficiency may exist in those whose parents were alcoholics. (pubs.niaaa.hih.gov)
It is thought that one can inherit an “insensitivity” to thiamine which can lead to brain abnormalities early in life, which increases the risk of developing alcoholism as an adult.
According to ScienceDirect.com alcoholism is the most frequent cause of thiamine deficiency (beri-beri) and a mother with chronic thiamine deficiency raises her baby’s risk for thiamine deficiency also.
Thiamine is also an essential co-factor for several important enzymes involved in brain cell metabolism, including required precursors for supplying a molecule called ATP. Not having enough Vitamin B1 leads to reduction of these essential enzymes and thereby affects the viability of brain cells.. especially in the cerebellum area of the brain.