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Wernicke syndrome

Pronunciation: vern-ik'e

Definition: a common condition in patients with long-term alcoholism, resulting largely from thiamin deficiency and characterized by disturbances in ocular motility, pupillary alterations, nystagmus, and ataxia with tremors. An organic-toxic psychosis is often an associated finding, and Korsakoff syndrome often coexists; the characteristic cellular pathology is found in several areas of the brain, particularly the mammillary bodies and regions adjacent to the third and fourth ventricles.

Synonym(s): superior hemorrhagic polioencephalitis, Wernicke disease, Wernicke encephalopathy

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.