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Is physical rehabilitation effective for Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome? A case report

Genç, Aysun; Özdemir, Elif C.; Moustafa, Esra; Küçükdeveci, Ayşe A.

International Journal of Rehabilitation Research: December 2018 - Volume 41 - Issue 4 - p 373–376
doi: 10.1097/MRR.0000000000000303
Case reports

Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome is a type of brain disorder caused by the lack of thiamine, most commonly because of chronic alcohol misuse. It consists of two separate conditions including Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff syndrome. Various levels of cognitive impairments are associated with the severity of the syndrome. Although the effectiveness of thiamine replacement in the early phases of the syndrome is proven, the efficacy of subsequent treatments, which mainly include rehabilitation protocols after the development of Korsakoff syndrome, is not clear. This is the first report showing the positive effects of physical rehabilitation in a 48-year-old male patient with Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome.

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey

Correspondence to Aysun Genç, MD, Ankara Universitesi Tip Fakultesi Ibn-i Sina Hastanesi, 4, kat Fiziksel Tip ve Rehabilitasyon AD, 06230, Sihhiye/Ankara, Turkey Tel: +90 312 508 2822; fax: +90 312 508 3935; e-mail:

Received June 20, 2018

Accepted June 25, 2018

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