What is Korsakoff Syndrome?
Korsakoff syndrome is a chronic memory disorder caused by a severe deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B-1). People with the disorder experience difficulty learning new information, long-term memory gaps, and may be unable to remember recent events. Memory symptoms may be quite noticeable while social skills remain intact. Sometimes, people with Korsakoff syndrome make up the information they cannot remember and then believe the information they have created.
What Causes Korsakoff Syndrome?
The thiamine deficiency that leads to Korsakoff syndrome is most often caused by alcohol misuse. However, there can be other causes for the disorder. There are genetic risk factors that can make people more susceptible to the disease. In addition, poor nutrition caused by eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, strict fasting, restrictive dieting, severe vomiting, as well as conditions including AIDS, metastatic cancer, kidney dialysis, and chronic infection can cause low thiamine levels increasing one’s risk.
Can Korsakoff Syndrome be Treated?
If a doctor suspects Koraskoff syndrome (perhaps after an episode of Wernicke’s Encephalopathy), a course of injectable or oral thiamine supplements may be advised. Doctors also use other vitamins and minerals to decrease symptoms, and it is important to eliminate alcohol use if that contributed to the development of the disease. Some, but not all people with the syndrome experience improvement in symptoms and can expect normal life expectancy if thiamine levels can be achieved and any other contributing health factors are addressed.
Parc Provence Knows Memory Care
At Parc Provence, our compassionate staff is well trained in all types of memory care. From Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease to Korsakoff syndrome, we know the unique challenges faced by our residents and their families. We are here to help them through every development and every stage. We offer a homelike setting that provides peace of mind while also delivering the highest quality care and support at every turn.
Contact us today to learn how Parc Provence is leading the way in memory care.