Wernicke's encephalopathy after prolonged fasting

J. A. Waterston, B. S. Gilligan

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Abstract

Wernicke's encephalopathy has been associated rarely with fasting. We describe a middle-aged patient who presented in a subacute fashion with features of thiamin deficiency after marked weight reduction. Associated features were chest pain, possibly related to cardiac involvement and a proximal myopathy. The Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome has been described in the literature for around 100 years. However, the classic triad of ataxia, ophthalmoplegia and impaired conscious state that occurs in a person with chronic alcoholism is by no means its exclusive presentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-155
Number of pages2
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Volume145
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1986
Externally publishedYes

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