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Wernicke's Encephalopathy

more about Wernicke's Encephalopathy

  • Wernicke's encephalopathy is a problem with the brain caused by inadequate amounts of thiamin (vitamin B1).  Thiamin is needed for the body and the brain to function normally.  In the United States, Thiamin Deficiency usually occurs in alcoholics because they do not eat properly, usually causing confusion and problems with walking.

  • The most common symptoms are confusion, problems with walking, malnourished appearance, tremors, muscle atrophy, dry skin, difficulty with speech, swallowing difficulties, paresthesia (numbness, tingling) and problems moving the eye.

  • This disease is caused by a lack of thiamin (vitamin B1), which leads to problems with the normal functioning of the brain.

  • A Diagnosis can be made by treating the patient with thiamin and watching the symptoms improve.  There are blood and urine tests available to check the level of thiamin, but giving the patient thiamin and seeing the response is the best way to diagnose this condition.

  • Intravenous thiamin is given to the patient for a few days until it can be given by mouth.  The most effective treatment is to eat properly.

more about Wernicke's Encephalopathy

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