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Alcoholic Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome in a young adult

Francesca Mariani

  • Montevideo,
  • Uruguay
  • Francesca Mariani ¹
  • , Laura Bocos ¹
  • , Sergio Dansilio ¹
  • 1 Department of Neuropsychology, Institute of Neurology, Hospital de Clínicas. University of the Republic.

Introduction: Wernicke-Korsakoff (WK) Syndrome is commonly described in patients with a long history of hard alcoholic drinking. Cases of young people allows to suspect a previews brain condition. Objective: to present a case of WK Syndrome in a young patient with all the neuropsychological features. Participants and Methods: 36 years old man, right – handed with primary school education and history of school failure. Premature and low birth weight. Problematic use of alcohol and other substances. Neuropsychological evaluation: Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Trail Making Test (A), phonological and semantic fluency, Rey-Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), Visual Anticipation Brixton test (BT); Stroop Visual Color and Word Test; 7/24 Spatial Recall Test, Rey Osterrieth Complex Figure; Kaufman Brief Intelligence test (K-BIT). Results and Conclusions: An amnestic and dysexecutive syndromes both of moderate to severe entity were found preceded by a confusional state and compatible with WK encephalopathy. A compound IC of 75 (low) is further disclosed. CT and MRI are normal. The SPECT shows a bilateral prefrontal, anterior and medial temporal moderate hypoperfusion that involves both thalamus, following the typical pattern described for WK syndrome, contrasting with no structural lesions. Alcoholic WK is infrequently seen in young adults. In this case there is a toxic intake added to a probable developmental cognitive disorder. Both conditions could induce brain risk.