Korsakoffs syndrome

About 80 per cent of alcoholic patients recovering from Wernicke's encephalopathy develop Korsakoff's amnesic syndrome. It is characterized by marked deficits in anterograde and retrograde memory, apathy, an intact sensorium, and relative preservation of other intellectual abilities. Korsakoff's amnesic syndrome may also appear without an antecendent episode of Wernicke's encephalopathy. Acute lesions may be superimposed on chronic lesions, suggesting that subclinical episodes of Wernicke's encephalopathy may culminate in Korsakoff's amnesic syndrome. The memory disorder correlates best with the presence of histopathological lesions in the dorsomedial thalamus. (Amnesic syndrome is considered further in Chapter.4.1.13..)

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