MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link

Korsakoff Psychosis

(Korsakoff's Amnestic Syndrome; Korsakoff's Psychosis; Korsakoff Syndrome; Korsakoff's Syndrome)

By

Gerald F. O’Malley

, DO, Grand Strand Regional Medical Center;


Rika O’Malley

, MD, Grand Strand Medical Center

Last full review/revision Jun 2020| Content last modified Jun 2020
Click here for the Professional Version

Symptoms of Korsakoff Psychosis

People with Korsakoff psychosis lose their memory for recent events. Memory of remote events is less affected. Memory can be so poor that people often make up stories, sometimes very convincingly, to try to cover up the inability to remember (called confabulation). They lose all sense of time. People become confused and apathetic and may not respond to events, even frightening ones. People also have all the symptoms of Wernicke encephalopathy, including profound ataxia (wide-based stumbling gait) and difficulty controlling eye movements.

Diagnosis of Korsakoff Psychosis

  • History of a condition known to cause Korsakoff psychosis, such as severe chronic alcohol use disorder

Doctors base a Korsakoff psychosis diagnosis on symptoms, particularly confabulation, in people with conditions that can cause Korsakoff psychosis, such as severe chronic alcohol use disorder Alcohol Alcohol (ethanol) is a depressant. Consuming large amounts rapidly or regularly can cause health problems, including organ damage, coma, and death. Genetics and personal characteristics may... read more . Doctors need to rule out other causes of the symptoms, such as infection.

Treatment of Korsakoff Psychosis

  • Thiamin

  • Fluids

Treatment for Korsakoff psychosis consists of the vitamin thiamin and hydration. Unfortunately, despite treatment, reversal of symptoms is poor and recovery is unlikely.

More Information about Korsakoff Psychosis

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Test your knowledge
Smoking Cessation
Quitting smoking is one of the most advantageous lifestyle changes a person can make to enhance their health. Positive effects may be experienced both immediately and in the long-term. For many people, quitting smoking is a difficult process, requiring multiple attempts. In the United States, which of the following is the percentage of smokers who want to quit and have tried to quit at least once?
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest

Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
TOP