Macrostructural abnormalities in Korsakoff syndrome compared with uncomplicated alcoholism

Neurology®, 05/09/2012

The results indicate considerable similarities in the pattern of gray and white matter damage in alcoholic patients without Korsakoff syndrome (KS) (AL) and KS. This finding confirms the widespread neurotoxic effect of chronic alcohol consumption. Only a few cerebral regions, including the medial thalami, mammillary bodies, and corpus callosum, were more severely damaged in KS than in AL. The continuum of macrostructural damage from AL to KS is therefore restricted to key brain structures. Longitudinal investigations are required to determine whether alcoholic patients with medial thalamic volumes that are comparable to those of patients with KS are at increased risk of developing KS.

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