Thiamine-responsive acute neurological disorders in nonalcoholic patients

H. Merkin-Zaborsky, G. Ifergane, S. Frisher, S. Valdman, Y. Herishanu, Itzhak Wirguin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Wernicke's encephalopathy (WE) is most commonly associated with alcoholism, although other causes have also been implicated. In the years 1994-1997, 9 patients with no history of alcohol abuse presented with acute signs of ophthalmoplegia or nystagmus and ataxia which resolved within 48 h after intravenous thiamine. There were 7 women and 2 men aged 17-57 (7 below the age of 30). Precipitating events included vomiting 2, drastic weight-reducing diet 2, renal colic in a postpartum woman 1, colonic surgery 2 and chronic hemodialysis 1. In 2 patients there was no obvious precipitating event but their history was suggestive of a genetic predisposition. Mental changes were slight or absent in all patients and all of them made good functional recovery. These cases suggest that the diagnosis of WE should be considered more often in nonalcoholics in various clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-37
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 17 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Nonalcoholics
  • Thiamine
  • Wernicke's encephalopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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