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About gayet-wernicke syndrome

What is gayet-wernicke syndrome?

Wernicke syndrome and Korsakoff syndrome are related disorders that often occur due to a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1). Wernicke's syndrome, also known as Wernicke encephalopathy, is a neurological disease characterized by the clinical triad of confusion, the inability to coordinate voluntary movement (ataxia), and eye (ocular) abnormalities. Korsakoff's syndrome is a mental disorder characterized by disproportionate memory loss in relation to other mental aspects. When these two disorders occur together, the term Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is used. In the United States, most cases occur in alcoholics.

Some researchers believe Wernicke and Korsakoff syndromes are separate yet related disorders; others believe them to be different stages of the same disorder or disease spectrum. Wernicke syndrome is considered the acute phase with a shorter duration and more serious symptoms. Korsakoff syndrome is considered the chronic phase and is a long-lasting condition.

What are the symptoms for gayet-wernicke syndrome?

Lesions on the brain cause WD. These Lesions are the result of a vitamin B-1 deficiency.

Prominent symptoms of WD are:

  • double vision
  • a drooping upper eyelid, also known as ptosis
  • up-and-down or side-to-side eye movements
  • loss of muscle coordination, or ataxia, which may interfere with walking
  • a confused mental state, which frequently leads to combativeness or violent behavior

WD can later develop into Korsakoff’s syndrome. People who have WKS have a variety of issues relating to memory. You may experience Memory loss or be unable to form new memories.

You may also have the following symptoms if you have WKS:

  • Amnesia for events that happen after the onset of the disorder
  • difficulty understanding the meaning of information
  • difficulty putting words into context
  • hallucinations
  • exaggerated storytelling, or confabulation

What are the causes for gayet-wernicke syndrome?

The no. 1 cause of WKS is alcoholism.

The less common causes of WKS are conditions that limit nutritional absorption. Eating and nutrient absorption can be restricted by:

  • gastric bypass surgery, which makes it difficult to meet nutritional needs due to limited food portions
  • gastric cancer, which may limit the absorption of essential nutrients
  • colon cancer, which can result in pain that causes you to put off eating
  • eating disorders

Alcoholism is the no. 1 cause of WKS because people with the condition generally have a poor diet. Alcohol also prevents vitamin B-1 absorption and storage.

What are the treatments for gayet-wernicke syndrome?

WKS treatment should begin immediately. Prompt treatment may delay or stop disease progression. Treatments are also able to reverse nonpermanent brain abnormalities.

Treatment may first involve hospitalization. At the hospital, you’ll be monitored to ensure your digestive system is absorbing food properly.

The treatment for WKS may include:

  • vitamin B-1 given through an intravenous line (IV) in the arm or hand
  • vitamin B-1 given by mouth
  • a balanced diet to keep vitamin B-1 levels up
  • treatment for alcoholism

After diagnosis, your doctor will most likely give you vitamin B-1 intravenously. Fast treatment may reverse many of the neurological symptoms of WKS.

In a small number of cases, treatment of vitamin B-1 deficiency produces a negative reaction. This is more common in people with alcoholism.

Negative reactions to receiving vitamin B-1 may vary, and can include alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, sweating, or mood swings. You may also experience hallucinations, confusion, or agitation.

What are the risk factors for gayet-wernicke syndrome?

Risk factors for WKS are related to your diet and lifestyle.

The major risk factors for developing WKS are malnourishment and chronic alcohol misuse. Other risk factors for WKS include:

  • inability to afford medical care and proper food
  • kidney dialysis, which reduces vitamin B-1 absorption
  • AIDS, which makes you more likely to develop conditions that lead to vitamin B-1 deficiency

Is there a cure/medications for gayet-wernicke syndrome?

The outlook for WKS is based on how far the disease has advanced.

Receiving early treatment before irreversible damage has occurred will dramatically improve your outlook.

Mortality rates are high if WKS is left untreated. Most deaths are the result of a lung infection, blood poisoning, or irreversible brain damage.

Those who receive fast treatment can see progress in:

  • eye problems
  • muscle coordination
  • confusion

Abstaining from alcohol allows continued recovery of memory and mental function.

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