NCBI Bookshelf. Newton 3. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a common complication of a thiamine deficiency that is primarily seen with alcoholics. However, less than a third of patients present with this complete triad. Wernicke encephalopathy is characterized by an acute confusional state with clinical features that are often reversible. While Korsakoff syndrome is characterized by confabulation, memory loss, and gait abnormalities that are often irreversible and results if Wernicke encephalopathy is not treated adequately.
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High consumption of alcohol, not only by the adult population but also, and ever increasing, by younger strata, presents itself as a worrisome public health issue.
One of the possible consequences of chronic alcohol consumption is the development of the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. This disease, without proper treatment, can progress to a state of stupor, coma and even death.
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Due to the close relationship between these two disorders, people with either are usually diagnosed with WKS as a single syndrome. It mainly causes vision changes, ataxia and impaired memory. The cause of the disorder is thiamine vitamin B 1 deficiency. This can occur due to beriberi , Wernicke encephalopathy, and alcoholic Korsakoff syndrome. These disorders may manifest together or separately. WKS is usually secondary to alcohol abuse. Wernicke encephalopathy and WKS are most commonly seen in people with an alcohol use disorder.
Wernicke encephalopathy WE , also Wernicke's encephalopathy  is the presence of neurological symptoms caused by biochemical lesions of the central nervous system after exhaustion of B-vitamin reserves, in particular thiamine vitamin B1. The condition is part of a larger group of thiamine deficiency disorders, that includes beriberi in all its forms, and alcoholic Korsakoff syndrome. When it occurs simultaneously with alcoholic Korsakoff syndrome it is known as Wernicke—Korsakoff syndrome. Classically, Wernicke encephalopathy is characterised by the triad — ophthalmoplegia , ataxia , and confusion. The classic triad of symptoms found in Wernicke encephalopathy is: .
NCBI Bookshelf. Sarayu Vasan ; Anil Kumar. Authors Sarayu Vasan 1 ; Anil Kumar 2. Wernicke encephalopathy WE is an acute neurological condition characterized by a clinical triad of ophthalmoparesis with nystagmus, ataxia, and confusion. This is a life-threatening illness caused by thiamine deficiency, which primarily affects the peripheral and central nervous systems.
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