How should patients be educated about Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS)?

Updated: May 16, 2018
  • Author: Glen L Xiong, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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In alcohol-related Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, abstinence from alcohol and maintenance of a balanced diet offer the best chance for recovery and prevention of future episodes.

Patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery are recommended to adhere to a balanced diet and continue vitamin supplementation.

Family education and support is an important component of taking care of anyone with a dementia illness, including Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Patients with persistent dementia usually require 24-hour supervision, because they usually have poor insight into their illness and significant functional impairments in activities of daily living. Some patients with alcohol dependence may continue to prefer alcohol use, despite their cognitive deficits. In severe cases, private or public guardianships (or conservatorships) may need to be sought from the courts.

Some helpful Web sites for patients include the following:

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