Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome is a memory disorder due to a deficiency in thiamine (Vitamin B-1). It is often caused by excessive alcohol use.
Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome Symptoms
Wernicke Encephalopathy: is an acute medical emergency that is the precursor to Korsakoff syndrome. Wernicke encephalopathy is a life threatening brain disruption with symptoms of:
- Lack of coordination,
- Abnormal involuntary eye movements.
Chronic memory loss of Korsakoff follows the Wernicke encephalopathy episode. Korsakoff syndrome causes people to:
- Not be able to remember recent events,
- Have long term memory gaps,
- Have problems learning new information.
- These individuals may often make up information they can’t remember.
Causes of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
Alcohol misuse is the most common cause of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. According to the Alzheimer’s association, “Thiamine deficiency disrupts several biochemicals that play key roles in carrying signals among brain cells and in storing and retrieving memories.”