Caused by the acute deficiency of thiamine in a susceptible host.
Underdiagnosed in clinical practice.
The spectrum of patients affected continues to increase with changing medical practice.
The neuropsychiatric manifestations are varied but typically include alterations of consciousness, eye movement abnormalities, and gait and balance disorders.
Unless treated as an emergency with thiamine replacement parenterally, permanent neurologic injury may occur.
Wernicke encephalopathy is a neurologic emergency resulting from thiamine deficiency with varied neurocognitive manifestations, typically involving mental status changes and gait and oculomotor dysfunction.
Department of Neurology
Johns Hopkins Hospital
AM declares that he has no competing interests.
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Harvard Medical School
AP declares that he has no competing interests.
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