Wernicke-Korsakoff Amnestic Syndrome Secondary to Malnutrition in a Patient with Schizoaffective Disorder

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Abstract

Objective

The authors identify a rare case of Wernicke-Korsakoff amnestic syndrome and highlight its occurrence in the absence of alcohol dependence.

Method

A longitudinal case history of a patient with schizoaffective disorder who developed Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome secondary to malnutrition.

Results

Refusal to eat based on persecutory delusions in chronic psychotic patients can cause malnutrition and result in Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

Conclusions

With increasing managed-care demands for outpatient treatment of chronic psychotic patients, physicians may see more cases of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome in psychiatric populations.

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