Korsakoff's syndrome: n. "a condition caused by prolonged deficiency of vitamin B-1," resulting in retrograde and anterograde amnesia
Definition from Introduction to Psychology, by James Kalat
Thiamine deficiency has been shown to disrupt certain biochemicals that play a role in encoding and retrieving memories, and these disruptions destroy brain cells. At the moment, Korsakoff's syndrome cannot be diagnosed with lab tests or brain scans. Treatment for Korsakoff's includes oral supplements of thiamine, proper nutrition, and hydration; patients also go through memory rehabilitation so that they use parts of their memory that still function. Korsakoff's syndrome is most easily prevented by avoiding Vitamin B-1 deficiency that comes from prolonged alcohol abuse, malnutrition and eating disorders.
- Alzheimer's Association. (2013). Korsakoff Syndrome. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://www.alz.org/dementia/wernicke-korsakoff-syndrome-symptoms.asp.
- Kalat, J. W. (2011). Introduction to Psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
- Komatsu, S., Mimura, M., Kato, M., Wakamatsu, N. & Kashima, H. “Errorless and effortful processes involved in the learning of face-name associations by patients with alcoholic Korsakoff’s Syndrome.” (2000). Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 10(2), 113-132. doi: 10.1080/096020100389200
- Kopelman, M. D., Thomson, A. D., Guerrini, I., & Marshall, E. J. (2009). The Korsakoff syndrome: Clinical aspects, psychology and treatment. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 44(2), p. 148-154.