Wernicke—Korsakoff Syndrome

  • David A. Greenberg
  • Ivan Diamond


Several specific disorders of the nervous system develop in patients with chronic alcoholism. However, alcoholics are often subject to malnutrition, head trauma, seizures, and a variety of systemic disorders, and it is often difficult to determine the relative contribution of direct and indirect effects of alcohol in the pathogenesis of the alcohol-related neurologic disorders. About a century has passed since Wernicke and Korsakoff separately described components of the syndrome that now bears their names. During that time, we have learned a great deal about the relationship between alcoholism and the Wernicke—Korsakoff syndrome, and effective treatment for the acute phase of the disorder has been developed. Despite these accomplishments, the specific biochemical derangement that produces structural pathology and clinical symptoms characteristic of the Wernicke—Korsakoff syndrome has not been identified.


Thiamine Deficiency Transient Global Amnesia Maple Syrup Urine Disease Korsakoff Syndrome Local Cerebral Glucose Utilization 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Greenberg
    • 1
  • Ivan Diamond
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Neurology, Pharmacology, and PediatricsUniversity of California, San Francisco, and Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, San Francisco General HospitalSan FranciscoUSA

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