Korsakoff Syndrome

Common Name(s)

Korsakoff Syndrome, Korsakoff psychosis

Korsakoff syndrome is a memory disorder due to thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. Lack of vitamin B1 is often associated with alcoholism or occurs in those who do not absorb food properly (malabsorption). The condition can also occur as a result of chronic illnesses such as AIDS, anorexia or certain chronic infections, or after bariatric surgery (operations performed to reduce the size of the stomach so an individual can lose weight). Korsakoff syndrome often develops after Wernicke's encephalopathy (please also see: Wernicke's encephalopathy).

Symptoms of Korsakoff syndrome may include the inability to form new memories, loss of memory, making up stories, or seeing and hearing things that are not really there. Korsakoff syndrome is usually diagnosed when exams show nervous system damage that presents as abnormal eye movement, decreased reflexes, a fast heart rate, low body temperature, and muscle weakness. Recent studies have begun to find certain genes that may make an individual more likely to develop Korsakoff syndrome.

Symptoms of Korsakoff psychosis, a condition that develops after long term vitamin B1 deficiency, results in permanent damage to areas of the brain involved with memory. Treatment is available for those with Korsakoff syndrome, and its goal is to control symptoms and to prevent any further complications from the disorder. Injection of Vitamin B1 is used to improve symptoms of confusion, difficulties with vision, and lack of muscle coordination. Unfortunately, this injection treatment typically does not improve memory loss that is associated with Korsakoff psychosis.

Talk with your doctor if you or a family member has been diagnosed with Korsakoff syndrome to discuss treatment and care plan options. Support groups are also a good source of support and information.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Korsakoff Syndrome" for support, advocacy or research.

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General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Korsakoff Syndrome" returned 18 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Olmesartan-induced Enteropathy Manifesting as Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome.
 

Author(s): Takanori Uehara, Masatomi Ikusaka, Yoshiyuki Ohira, Kazutaka Noda, Shingo Suzuki, Kiyoshi Shikino, Takeshi Kondo, Hideki Kajiwara, Akiko Ikegami, Yusuke Hirota

Journal: Intern. Med.. ;55(24):3675-3678.

 

Cases of sprue-like enteropathy associated with olmesartan have sporadically been encountered since it was first reported in 2012, and their most characteristic manifestation is severe diarrhea. We herein report the first case of sprue-like enteropathy manifesting as Wernicke-Korsakoff ...

Last Updated: 16 Dec 2016

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Nonalcoholic Thiamine-Related Encephalopathy (Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome) Among Inpatients With Cancer: A Series of 18 Cases.
 

Author(s): Elie Isenberg-Grzeda, Yesne Alici, Vaios Hatzoglou, Christian Nelson, William Breitbart

Journal: Psychosomatics. ;57(1):71-81.

 

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS) is a neuropsychiatric syndrome caused by thiamine deficiency. Cancer predisposes to thiamine deficiency through various mechanisms. Although many case reports exist on nonalcoholic WKS in cancer, larger qualitative studies are lacking.

Last Updated: 21 Jan 2016

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Macrostructural abnormalities in Korsakoff syndrome compared with uncomplicated alcoholism.
 

Author(s): A-L Pitel, G Ch├ętelat, A P Le Berre, B Desgranges, F Eustache, H Beaunieux

Journal: Neurology. 2012 Apr;78(17):1330-3.

 

To distinguish, in patients with Korsakoff syndrome (KS), the structural brain abnormalities shared with alcoholic patients without KS (AL), from those specific to KS.

Last Updated: 24 Apr 2012

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Korsakoff Syndrome" returned 7 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

What does a comparison of the alcoholic Korsakoff syndrome and thalamic infarction tell us about thalamic amnesia?
 

Author(s): Michael D Kopelman

Journal: Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2015 Jul;54():46-56.

 

In this review, the clinical, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging findings in the alcoholic Korsakoff syndrome and in thalamic amnesia, resulting from focal infarction, are compared. In both disorders, there is controversy over what is the critical site for anterograde amnesia to ...

Last Updated: 5 Jun 2015

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Anterograde episodic memory in Korsakoff syndrome.
 

Author(s): Rosemary Fama, Anne-Lise Pitel, Edith V Sullivan

Journal: Neuropsychol Rev. 2012 Jun;22(2):93-104.

 

A profound anterograde memory deficit for information, regardless of the nature of the material, is the hallmark of Korsakoff syndrome, an amnesic condition resulting from severe thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. Since the late nineteenth century when the Russian physician, S. S. ...

Last Updated: 8 Jun 2012

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Translational rodent models of Korsakoff syndrome reveal the critical neuroanatomical substrates of memory dysfunction and recovery.
 

Author(s): Lisa M Savage, Joseph M Hall, Leticia S Resende

Journal: Neuropsychol Rev. 2012 Jun;22(2):195-209.

 

Investigation of the amnesic disorder Korsakoff Syndrome (KS) has been vital in elucidating the critical brain regions involved in learning and memory. Although the thalamus and mammillary bodies are the primary sites of neuropathology in KS, functional deactivation of the hippocampus ...

Last Updated: 8 Jun 2012

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Optimum Thiamine Intervention (OpTIn) Trial
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

 

Last Updated: 12 Nov 2017

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