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Alcohol amnestic disorder
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Alcohol amnestic disorder

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Contributors: Andrea Wasilewski MD, Jamie Adams MD, Richard L. Barbano MD, PhD
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Synopsis

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a constellation of symptoms resulting from vitamin B1 deficiency (thiamine deficiency). The acute syndrome is known as Wernicke encephalopathy (WE). Korsakoff syndrome occurs due to chronic thiamine deficiency. These conditions are most commonly associated with chronic alcohol use disorder and occur due to inadequate diet supply, reduced absorption and hepatic storage, and impaired utilization of thiamine. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome can occur from any condition leading to thiamine deficiency including malnutrition, anorexia nervosa, gastrointestinal surgery, and prolonged fasting.

WE presents with mental confusion (disorientation, inattention, memory dysfunction), ophthalmoplegia (horizontal nystagmus or vertical nystagmus with upward gaze, lateral rectus palsy, disconjugate gaze), and ataxia (unsteady, wide-based gait with short-spaced steps). Acute WE is a biochemical rather than a structural lesion. Prompt treatment can produce recovery.

Korsakoff syndrome is a late neuropsychiatric manifestation of chronic WE. Memory is affected far more than other cognitive domains. In alcohol use disorder, thiamine deficiency and alcohol's direct neurotoxic effects combine to produce deficits in anterograde and retrograde memory and apathy. Recovery in Korsakoff syndrome patients is uncommon.

Codes

ICD10CM:
F10.26 – Alcohol dependence with alcohol-induced persisting amnestic disorder

SNOMEDCT:
73097000 – Alcohol Amnestic Disorder

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Last Reviewed: 12/12/2018
Last Updated: 12/26/2018
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Alcohol amnestic disorder
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Alcohol amnestic disorder : Altered mental state, Ataxia, Nystagmus, Memory loss
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