Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Korsakoff’s Syndrome

  • Severn B. Churn
  • Jonathan Campbell
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56782-2_327-2


Short Description or Definition

Korsakoff’s psychosis (KP) is an abnormal mental condition that is usually a sequela of chronic alcoholism. Generally considered a later stage of Wernicke’s encephalopathy (WE), KP is associated with polyneuritis and is characterized by an impaired ability to acquire new information and by a substantial, but irregular, memory loss for which the patient often attempts to compensate through confabulation. However, KP is often distinguished from dementia associated with alcoholism due to the preservation of major intellectual ability, which is clouded in the latter syndrome.


Korsakoff’s psychosis is usually associated with the late, irreversible stage of Wernicke’s encephalitis. WE is an acute neuropsychiatric condition resulting from an initially reversible dysfunction...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NeurologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA