Wernicke’s Encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s Syndrome Revisited
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Wernicke’s Encephalopathy (WE) and Korsakoff’s Syndrome (KS): Brief History and Linkage
Carl Wernicke, a German neurologist, published the formal description of the encephalopathy for whom it is named 131 years ago. The clinical symptoms included lethargy, ophthalmoplegia, ataxia, and mental compromise. Within the same decade but unaware of Wernicke’s description, Sergei Korsakoff, a Russian psychiatrist, presented his doctoral dissertation, “Alcoholic Paralysis,” on the circumscribed amnesia occurring in certain cases of chronic alcoholism. More than half a century lapsed before the common etiology of thiamine deficiency was discovered as the cause of the signs, symptoms, and link between these conditions (for historical reviews, see Charness, et al. 1989; Victor, et al. 1989). We now acknowledge the temporal linkage of Wernicke’s Encephalopathy (WE) and Korsakoff’s Syndrome (KS), depicted in Fig. 1(cover image): 1) the acute phase of the encephalopathy, which results in bilateral...
KeywordsAnorexia Nervosa Thiamine Deficiency Hyperemesis Gravidarum Intensive Care Unit Nurse Beriberi
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This work was supported by grants from the NIAAA (AA010723, AA017168, AA017923).
The author is the editor-in-chief of the journal.
- Victor, M., Adams, R. D., & Collins, G. H. (1989). The Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome and Related Neurologic Disorders Due to Alcoholism and Malnutrition (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Co.Google Scholar
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