What is the global prevalence of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS)?

Updated: May 16, 2018
  • Author: Glen L Xiong, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

International and US rates of occurrence are essentially the same. In a survey of neuropathologists from several countries (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Norway, United Kingdom, United States), prevalence ranged from 0-2.8%. Prevalence did not correlate with per capita alcohol consumption in each country. [28] In one study of 131 patients with post-mortem findings Wernicke’s encephalopathy, only 20% of the patients had a recorded diagnosis of the nutritional disorder. [29]


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