What is included in long-term monitoring of patients with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS)?

Updated: May 16, 2018
  • Author: Glen L Xiong, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Long-term alcohol use is the most common etiology for Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, and abstinence provides the best chance for recovery. Referral to an alcohol recovery program should be part of the treatment regimen. Inpatient treatment versus outpatient rehabilitation depends on the needs of the individual and risks of relapse.

Recovering patients will require outpatient follow-up care to evaluate for continued progress or relapse. Patients with long-term alcoholism may benefit from further inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation, depending on the likelihood of compliance.

Patients should continue taking thiamine supplementation, as well as other vitamins and electrolytes, until a well-balanced diet can be maintained. Long-term supplementation may be required in patients who cannot maintain adequate nutritional intake, whether from noncompliance or the underlying disorder.

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