Wernicke's Encephalopathy

James B. Reuler, Donald E. Girard, Thomas G. Cooney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

291 Scopus citations


Despite its description over a century ago, Wernicke's encephalopathy continues to be underrecognized in both alcoholic and nonalcoholic populations. Recent studies suggest that Wernicke's encephalopathy is the most common neuropathological finding underlying chronic cognitive impairment in alcoholics and that its prevalence at autopsy, in both alcoholic and nonalcoholic populations, far exceeds its rate of recognition during life. Since Wernicke's encephalopathy is both treatable and preventable, and untold health care expenditures result from the disorder, familiarity with its epidemiologic and clinical features is important. In this article, the pathophysiologic, clinical, and neuropathological features of Wernicke's encephalopathy are reviewed, and principles of…

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1035-1039
Number of pages5
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 18 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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