Wernicke Encephalopathy and Korsakoff Syndrome Essay

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Wernicke Encephalopathy and Korsakoff Syndrome are the acute and chronic stages of the same disease abbreviated as (WKS). (WKS) is a memory brain disorder that can result if there is a very low amount of Vitamin (B1) or Thiamine entering to the brain. Thiamine metabolizing glucose to produce energy for the brain to function correctly. According to In Family Caregiver Alliance (2008)” the parts of the brain that are mostly effected Are the Hypothalamus and Thalamus”. These areas help the bodies regulate temperature (Homeostasis) and controls Pituitary Gland (Hormones) just to name a few.

Low Thiamine counts are mostly with people who are battling with alcoholism; 1. 1 Million – 2. 1 Million Americans battle with alcoholism. Alzheimer’s Group (2002) states that people whose body doesn’t receive proper nutrients (Malabsorption) like anyone dealing with anorexia, AIDS also obesity and had surgery or genetics can result in (WKS). Korsakoff Syndrome usually happens before an episode of Wernicke Encephalopathy. Korsakoff Syndrome is the acute phase of the disease; symptoms include: loss of memory, hallucinations reduce muscle tone (Hypotonia), abnormal eye movement.

An episode Wernicke Encephalopathy can lead to the inability to form new memory or a life threatening brain disruption. (WKS) is difficult to identify because if symptoms can be masked by other conditions for example hallucinations are also withdrawal symptoms for alcohol abusers. There have only been 4% – 2. 8% reported cases of (WKS) 25% cases where missed because of the area of the brain that was not examined by a microscope. (WKS) also only disease that can cause Dementia. Out of 2. 1 million Americans 22% – 29 % of them have Dementia. If (WKS) left untreated can lead to death rate is 10% – 20 % .

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