MRI examination revealed similar brain lesions in 5 alcoholic Korsakoff patients and 5 chronic alcoholics without cognitive impairment. Not only cerebral atrophy and demyelination, but also lesions thought to be specific for the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome were equally prominent in both groups. The morphological abnormalities thought to be typical of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome are probably common features of chronic alcoholism and malnutrition. Marked atrophy of the operculae was found in all Korsakoff patients and in 3 out of 5 chronic alcoholics. Alcohol amnestic disorder may not exclusively result from diencephalic lesions, but also from temporal lesions.