The newsletter of the Memory Disorders Project at Rutgers University

What is Korsakoff Disease

Korsakoff's disease is a brain disorder which is named after Sergei Korsakoff (1854-1900), a Russian neurologist who first described the disease.

It arises from a dietary deficiency of thiamin (Vitamin B-1), which the body uses to convert carbohydrates into energy.

Cause of Korsakoff syndrome

Over time, thiamin deficiency can cause damage to several brain areas critical for memory: including the thalamus, mammillary bodies and basal forebrain. In rare cases, this damage culminates in Korsakoff's disease.

by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain