Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
ZUBARAN, Carlos et al. Clinical and neurophatological aspects of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1996, vol.30, n.6, pp.602-608. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101996000600015.
Alcohol abuse is one of most serious problems in public health and the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome one of the gravest consequences of alcoholism. The pathology is often undiagnosed in its less evident presentations, therefore an accurate diagnostic approach is a critical step in planning treatment. Besides new pharmacological proposals, treatment is based on the restoration of thiamine, although this is insufficient to prevent the psychological decline of a great number of patients. The cognitive impact of the pathology is derived from the interaction of alcoholic neurotoxicity, thiamine deficiency and personal susceptibility. In this article the history, epidemiology, clinical and neuropathological features of the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, as well as some aspects of its treatment and prognosis, are described.
Keywords : Wernicke's encephalopathy; Alcohol amnestic disorder; Alcoholism [complications].