Munson Health
Korsakoff's Syndrome

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by Rosenblum LB

(Cerebral Beriberi; Korsakoff's Amnesic Syndrome)



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.


Alcoholics Anonymous

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism



Alcoholics Anonymous Canada

Dietitians of Canada



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Korsakoff syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated January 16, 2012. Accessed December 19, 2013.

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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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