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Review
. 2018 Oct 2;30(2):153-162.
doi: 10.1515/jbcpp-2018-0075.

Review of Thiamine Deficiency Disorders: Wernicke Encephalopathy and Korsakoff Psychosis

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Review

Review of Thiamine Deficiency Disorders: Wernicke Encephalopathy and Korsakoff Psychosis

Abin Chandrakumar et al. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. .

Abstract

Wernicke encephalopathy (WE) and Korsakoff psychosis (KP), together termed Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS), are distinct yet overlapping neuropsychiatric disorders associated with thiamine deficiency. Thiamine pyrophosphate, the biologically active form of thiamine, is essential for multiple biochemical pathways involved in carbohydrate utilization. Both genetic susceptibilities and acquired deficiencies as a result of alcoholic and non-alcoholic factors are associated with thiamine deficiency or its impaired utilization. WKS is underdiagnosed because of the inconsistent clinical presentation and overlapping of symptoms with other neurological conditions. The identification and individualized treatment of WE based on the etiology is vital to prevent the development of the amnestic state associated with KP in genetically predisposed individuals. Through this review, we bring together the existing data from animal and human models to expound the etiopathogenesis, diagnosis, and therapeutic interventions for WE and KP.

Keywords: alcohol-related brain disorders; alcoholism; memory; neurodegeneration; thiamine.

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