September 2, 2022

SEP 2, a brief saga: (organic brain poetry) alcohol and beriberi


ALCOHOL-INDUCED ORGANIC BRAIN SYNDROMES


"Do we commonly see beriberi?"
"In abusers of alcohol — very.
Poor nutrition can plainly
(Lack of thiamine mainly)
Cause various brain symptoms scary."
"First, there's Wernicke's triad. Inclusion?
Poor balance, weak eyes and confusion.
Then following close is
Amnestic psychosis,
With grandiose ideas' intrusion."

"So, when 'drunks' on society's fringe
Get unhinged when they've gone on a binge,
Rationality plunges.
Nurse! Prepare for some lunges
With your mega-dose B1 syringe."

 Wernicke's encephalopathy is a brain disorder often occurring in the context of binge-drinking in poorly nourished alcoholics. As its characteristic manifestations abate, generally following hospital admission, symptoms of an overlapping condition known as Korsakoff's syndrome may become evident. These consist of various types of memory failure, with prominent confabulation (grandiose storytelling, as part of identity-amnesia). Together the two patterns are described as Wernicke-Korsakoff illness. The treatment for both stages is high-dose thiamine (vitamin B1), administered either intravenously or intramuscularly.

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