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- Mental status changes, including confusion, poor concentration, lack of emotion, and memory loss
- Vision problems
- Poor coordination
- Difficulty walking and sitting
- Nausea and vomiting
- Thiamin supplements—to treat the thiamine deficiency that is causing your Wernicke encephalopathy.
- Dietary changes—you will need to drink plenty of water. You may also be referred to a dietitian to help with meal planning, especially if your diet is high in carbohydrates.
- Ensure that you are getting enough thiamine in your diet.
- Daily goals are 1.1 mg a day for women and 1.2 mg a day for men.
- Foods that are rich in thiamine include lentils, peas, fortified breakfast cereal, pecans, spinach, oranges, milk, and eggs.
- Limit your alcohol intake to a moderate level.
- Moderate is two or fewer drinks per day for men and one or fewer drinks per day for women.
- If you have a drinking problem, talk to your doctor right away about treatment options.
Alzheimer’s Society http://www.alzheimers.org
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov
Alzheimer Society Canada http://www.alzheimer.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Kaineg B, Hudgins M, et al. Wernicke’s encephalopathy. N Engl J Med. 2005;352:e18. Available at: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMicm040862. Accessed December 18, 2013.
Wernicke encephalopathy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 14, 2013. Accessed December 18, 2013.
Wernicke’s encephalopathy. University of Virginia School of Medicine website. Available at: http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/medicine/divisions/digestive-health/nutrition-support-team/nutrition-articles/ThomsonArticle.pdf. Accessed December 18, 2013.
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Patient UK website. Available at: http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Wernicke-Korsakoff-Syndrome.htm. Updated April 20, 2011. Accessed December 18, 2013.
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Radiopaedia website. Available at: http://radiopaedia.org/articles/wernicke-korsakoff-syndrome. Accessed December 18, 2013.
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/wernicke%5Fkorsakoff/wernicke-korsakoff.htm. Updated February 14, 2007. Accessed December 18, 2013.
What is Korsakoff’s syndrome. Alzheimer’s Society website. Available at: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents%5Finfo.php?documentID=98. Updated May 2012. Accessed December 18, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013
- Update Date: 01/13/2014