Wernicke Encephalopathy Quiz

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Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

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People with similar symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • Double vision

  • Body ache

  • My eyes hurt when i move them

  • Double vision in one eye

  • My body is jerking

  • My body is in pain

  • My vision is not clear

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Learn more about Wernicke Encephalopathy

Content updated on Jan 19, 2024

What is wernicke encephalopathy?

Wernicke encephalopathy (WE) is an acute neurologic condition condition characterized by vision changes, ataxia (loss of coordination and balance), and confusion. It is caused by B1 or thiamine deficiency.

Symptoms of wernicke encephalopathy

  • Double vision

  • Pain across the entire body

  • Hallucinations

  • Seizure

  • Enlarged male breast tissue

  • Walking has become so unsteady that I always need to hold onto something for support

  • Abnormal behavior

  • Hands and legs became clumsy - I cannot do fine work with them

Questions your doctor may ask to check for wernicke encephalopathy

  • Do you see double?

  • Do you have body-wide pain?

  • Have you experienced non-existent sensory perceptions?

  • Have you had a seizure?

  • Have you noticed an unusual increase in your breast size?

Treatment for wernicke encephalopathy

Wernicke encephalopathy requires intravenous or intramuscular thiamine for treatment.

View the symptoms of Wernicke Encephalopathy

References

  • Latt N, Dore G. Thiamine in the treatment of Wernicke encephalopathy in patients with alcohol use disorders. Intern Med J. 2014 Sep;44(9):911-5. doi: 10.1111/imj.12522. PMID: 25201422.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/imj.12522

  • Sinha S, Kataria A, Kolla BP, Thusius N, Loukianova LL. Wernicke Encephalopathy-Clinical Pearls. Mayo Clin Proc. 2019 Jun;94(6):1065-1072. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2019.02.018. PMID: 31171116.

    https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(19)30255-1/fulltext

  • Fujikawa T, Sogabe Y. Wernicke encephalopathy. CMAJ. 2020 Feb 10;192(6):E143. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.190998. PMID: 32041699; PMCID: PMC7012630.

    https://www.cmaj.ca/content/192/6/E143

  • Ota Y, Capizzano AA, Moritani T, Naganawa S, Kurokawa R, Srinivasan A. Comprehensive review of Wernicke encephalopathy: pathophysiology, clinical symptoms and imaging findings. Jpn J Radiol. 2020 Sep;38(9):809-820. doi: 10.1007/s11604-020-00989-3. Epub 2020 May 10. PMID: 32390125.

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11604-020-00989-3

User testimonials

Reviewed By:

Samantha Nazareth, MD

Samantha Nazareth, MD (Gastroenterology)

Board-certified gastroenterologist. Experience managing gastrointestinal conditions (GERD, IBS, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, celiac disease, NASH) within healthcare organizations (three ambulatory surgical centers, single-specialty practice, multi-specialty practice and solo practice).

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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