Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Korsakoff’s Syndrome

  • Severn B. ChurnEmail author
  • Jonathan Campbell
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_327


Alcohol amnesic disorder; Alcoholic polyneuropathy; Alcoholic psychosis; Korsakoff (korsakov) psychosis; Wernicke’s encephalitis; Wernicke-Korsakoff encephalopathy

Short Description or Definition

Korsakoff’s psychosis (KP) is an abnormal mental condition that is usually a sequela of chronic alcoholism. Generally considered a later stage of Wernicke’s encephalopathy (WE), KP is associated with polyneuritis and is characterized by an impaired ability to acquire new information and by a substantial, but irregular, memory loss for which the patient often attempts to compensate through confabulation. However, KP is often distinguished from dementia associated with alcoholism due to the preservation of major intellectual ability, which is clouded in the latter syndrome.


Korsakoff’s psychosis is usually associated with the late, irreversible stage of Wernicke’s encephalitis. WE is an acute neuropsychiatric condition resulting from an initially reversible dysfunction...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NeurologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA