Korsakoff Syndrome- What is it All About?

korsakoff syndrome

Dementia is an issue faced by millions of Americans; one type of dementia called Korsakoff syndrome is triggered by excessive use of alcohol and leads to symptoms of memory loss. Memory care centers in OKC can help you get rid of such disease.

Dementia is a severe mental disorder that impacts the cognitive skills of a person and can affect stuff like memory and judgment. Millions of individuals across the nation are suffering from all kinds of dememmon being Alzheimer's disease.

Korsakoff syndrome is a less prevalent type of dementia that still impacts many around the globe. The syndrome is triggered by excessive alcohol use and leads to symptoms such as memory-forming issues and acute previous recall issues.

What Is the Syndrome of Korsakoff?

Korsakoff syndrome is a chronic memory disorder induced by thiamine deficiency, or vitamin B. This syndrome is frequently connected with excessive alcohol abuse. However, there are other circumstances that may activate the issue. For instance, issues such as cancers, AIDS, chronic diseases, insufficient nutrition, and other circumstances. The syndrome can also affect individuals whose bodies are unable to absorb food.

Thiamine- The body's thiamine deficiency is the prime reason of Korsakoff syndrome. Thiamine is used in the body to help brain cells generate power from sugar. When thiamine levels fall too low in the body, the brain can not produce enough energy to operate correctly.

Thus, it has been found that alcohol use is a significant contributing factor to this. Heavy drinking can lead to several other modifications in thinking and cognitive decline problems. It can lead to harm of brain through: -

  • Toxic impacts on brain cells

  • Stress of repeated intoxication and withdrawal

  • Alcohol-related illnesses that influence the brain

Wernicke Encephalopathy- Wernicke Encephalopathy is an associated disease that often precedes the syndrome of Korsakoff. It's considered as a medical emergency. It may cause death in up to 20% of instances and progresses to Korsakoff syndrome in 85% of survivors if a proper treatment is not initiated. Data suggest that about 25% of those who develop Korsakoff syndrome ultimately recover but do not recover completely. On the other hand, about 25% stay unchanged.


Some specialists suggest that heavy drinkers and others at danger of thiamine deficiency should take oral thiamine supplements and other vitamins under doctor's supervision.

Many specialists also recommend that anyone with a history of heavy alcohol use who has symptoms connected with Wernicke encephalopathy, extended nausea leading to vomiting, including severe confusion, uncommon fatigue or weakness, low or blood pressure, should be given injectable thiamine to get rid of these problems.

Once acute symptoms enhance, people should be closely assessed to determine whether their medical history of memory problems, and alcohol use, are similar with Korsakoff syndrome. Extended therapy with oral thiamine, other vitamins and magnesium may help to control the symptoms of Korsakoff syndrome. If there is no improvement, consideration should be provided to the therapy of comorbid deficiencies and medical circumstances.

Abstaining from alcohol and keeping a healthy diet are a cornerstone of efficient long-term therapy. Those with Korsakoff syndrome have decreased alcohol tolerance and may be at high risk for further alcohol-related health issues.

Getting connected to memory care experts in OKC from Home Care Assistance can be of help.