Persistent memory disorder

The amnesic syndrome can be defined as follows.

An abnormal mental state in which memory and learning are affected out of all proportion to other cognitive functions in an otherwise alert and responsive patient.(18)

The Korsakoff syndrome can be defined in the same way but with the addition of the following phrase: ...resulting from nutritional depletion, notably thiamine deficiency.

In fact, Victor et al.(!8) used the first description as a definition of the Korsakoff syndrome, but the present author feels that it is important to distinguish between amnesic syndromes in general (for which the Victor et al. definition suffices) and the particular clinical condition described by Korsakoff, (19) whose cases can all be viewed (with hindsight) as having suffered nutritional depletion, whether of alcoholic or non-alcoholic causation. Various disorders can give rise to an amnesic syndrome.

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