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Korsakoff's Syndrome

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by Rosenblum LB

(Cerebral Beriberi; Korsakoff's Amnesic Syndrome)

 

Causes

Korsakoff syndrome is caused by a lack of vitamin B1, also known as thiamine. This is also always associated with alcoholism, since a poor diet and alcohol can prevent the body from getting enough thiamine.
Not everyone with alcoholism develops Korsakoff syndrome. A combination of genes and diet may play a role.
 

RESOURCES

Alcoholics Anonymous
http://www.aa.org

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
http://www.niaaa.nih.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Alcoholics Anonymous Canada
http://www.aacanada.com

Dietitians of Canada
http://www.dietitians.ca

 

References


Harper C. Thiamine deficiency and associated brain damage is still common throughout the world and prevention is simple and safe. Eur J Neurol. 2006,13:1078-1082.


Impairments of brain and behavior: the neurological effects of alcohol. Alcohol Health and Research World.1997;1:21.


Korsakoff syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 16, 2012. Accessed December 19, 2013.


Kuo SH, Debnam JM, et al. Wernicke's encephalopathy: an underrecognized and reversible cause of confusional state in cancer patients. Oncology. 2009;76(1):10-18.


Lukas RV, Piantino J, et al. MRI changes in a head and neck cancer patient with Wernicke’s Encephalopathy and visual loss. Neuro-Ophthalmology. 2011;35(5-6):272-275.


Thomson AD, Marshall EJ. The natural history and pathophysiology of Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s psychosis. Alcohol Alcohol. 2006,41:151.


Yoon CK, Chang MH, et al. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome associated with hyperemesis gravidarum. Korean J Ophthalmol. 2005;19(3):239-242.

 

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