Diseases & Conditions


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome


Synonyms of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
  • Gayet-Wernicke Syndrome

Disorder Subdivisions

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


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.

Organizations related to Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
  • NIH/Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
    6000 Executive Blvd Ste 400
    Bethesda MD 20892-7003
    Phone #: 301-443-3860
    800 #: --
    e-mail: N/A
    Home page: N/A
  • NIH/National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
    2 Information Way
    Bethesda MD 20892-3570
    Phone #: 301-654-3810
    800 #: 800-891-5389
    e-mail: nddic@info.niddk.nih.gov
    Home page: http://www.niddk.nih.gov
  • NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
    6001 Executive Blvd
    Rockville MD 20892-9663
    Phone #: 301-443-4513
    800 #: --
    e-mail: nimhinfo@nih.gov
    Home page: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/
  • National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
    11426 Rockville Pike
    Rockville MD 20852-3007
    Phone #: 301-468-2600
    800 #: 800-729-6686
    e-mail: info@health.org
    Home page: http://www.health.org
  • National Mental Health Association
    2001 North Beauregard Street
    Alexandria VA 22311
    Phone #: 703-684-7722
    800 #: 800-969-6642
    e-mail: infoctr@nmha.org
    Home page: http://www.nmha.org



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html