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    Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Synonyms

    • Gayet-Wernicke Syndrome

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • Psychosis Polyneurotica
    • Wernicke Disease
    • Wernicke Syndrome
    • Korsakoff Psychosis
    • Korsakoff Amnesic Syndrome
    • Korsakoff Syndrome
    • Wernicke Encephalopathy

    General Discussion

    Wernicke syndrome and Korsakoff syndrome are related disorders that often occur due to a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1). Wernicke's syndrome, also known as Wernicke encephalopathy, is a neurological disease characterized by the clinical triad of confusion, the inability to coordinate voluntary movement (ataxia), and eye (ocular) abnormalities. Korsakoff's syndrome is a mental disorder characterized by disproportionate memory loss in relation to other mental aspects. When these two disorders occur together, the term Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is used. In the United States, most cases occur in alcoholics.

    Some researchers believe Wernicke and Korsakoff syndromes are separate yet related disorders; others believe them to be different stages of the same disorder or disease spectrum. Wernicke syndrome is considered the acute phase with a shorter duration and more serious symptoms. Korsakoff syndrome is considered the chronic phase and is a long-lasting condition.

    Resources

    Mental Health America
    2000 N. Beauregard Street, 6th Floor
    Alexandria, VA 22314-2971
    USA
    Tel: (703)684-7722
    Fax: (703)684-5968
    Tel: (800)969-6642
    TDD: (800)433-5959
    Email: infoctr@mentalhealthamerica.net
    Internet: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/

    National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
    P.O. Box 2345
    Rockville, MD 20847-2345
    Tel: (301)468-2600
    Fax: (301)468-6433
    Tel: (800)729-6686
    TDD: (800)487-4889
    Email: info@health.org
    Internet: http://ncadi.samhsa.gov/

    NIH/Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
    5635 Fishers Lane
    MSC 9304
    Bethesda, MD 20892-9304
    Tel: (301)443-3860
    Fax: (301)443-7043
    Email: niaaaweb-r@exchange.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/

    NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases
    Office of Communications & Public Liaison
    Bldg 31, Rm 9A06
    31 Center Drive, MSC 2560
    Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
    Tel: (301)496-3583
    Email: NDDIC@info.niddk.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/

    NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
    Health Science Writing, Press and Dissemination Branch
    6001 Executive Boulevard
    Room 8184, MSC 9663
    Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
    Tel: (301)443-4513
    Fax: (301)443-4279
    Tel: (866)615-6464
    TDD: (301)443-8431
    Email: nimhinfo@nih.gov
    Internet: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 5/5/2008
    Copyright 1986, 1992, 1998, 2005 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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