Wernicke’s Encephalopathy

Wernicke's Encephalopathy

Clinical features

1. Weakness or paralysis of the 6th cranial nerve resulting in double vision, squint and rapid movements side to side of the eyes.
2. Ataxia-Patient unable to stand or walk without support.
3. Derangement of mental functions-Confusional state, listlessness, inattentiveness, indifference to surroundings, disorientation.
4. Drowsiness.
5. Spontaneous speech is minimal.
6. Amnesia.
7. Peripheral neuropathy-burning sensation in feet.

Cause:

Deficiency of Thiamin (Vitamin B1). Mostly seen in alcoholics.

Management:

This condition is a medical emergency and should be treated in a hospital with injectable Thiamin along with other oral vitamins.