We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......

Wernicke's Syndrome: What We Don't Teach

George H. Sands, MD; Katherine Mulloy
JAMA. 1987;258(18):2530. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400180064025.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

To the Editor.—  It has been recognized that Wernicke's encephalopathy is significantly underdiagnosed during life.1-4 Many physicians learn to look for this disorder only in patients with chronic alcoholism.4 Reuler et al3 note this syndrome is "even less frequently considered in the nonalcoholic population." We have noted that Wernicke's encephalopathy is infrequently considered when a history of alcoholism is absent, despite malnutrition.

Study.—  We evaluated our medical and neurological house staff's knowledge of Wernicke's encephalopathy by reading a vignette to 40 consecutive residents doing a rotation on the neurology service between May 1986 and May 1987. The following vignette was read to each resident: "You are a physician in the emergency room and you are asked to see a 63-year-old woman with a history of stomach cancer who is brought to the ER because of confusion. She is not able to really give you much more history.


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.