Wernicke's encephalopathy - Definition

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Wernicke's encephalopathy, which is not related to Wernicke's area (that is dedicated to language), is a neurological pathology. Its principal manifestations are the inability to voluntarily move the eyes, which nevertheless make jerky movements (nystagmus), diplopia (double vision), a loss of short-term memory, and difficulties swallowing. Mental confusion and ataxia (lack of coordination of movements and loss of equilibrium) are observed in one case out of ten. To treat Wernicke's encephalopathy, it is necessary to reestablish the normal levels of vitamin B1 through a muscular or intravenous injection.