Dr Carl Wernicke

1848 - 1904

Born in Tarnovitz, Poland, Carl Wernicke spent most of his life in Germany. A student of anatomy, he became interested in neuropathology, especially those associated with aphasia.

Wernicke's writings on neuroanatomy are used to this day, and a number of neurological disorders bear his name. Wernicke's Encephalopathy, a memory disorder often attributed to acute alcoholism, is caused by a thiamine deficiency. Its symptoms include loss of balance, eye spasms, and short-term memory loss. Prolonged thiamine deficiencies can lead to lesions in Cranial Nerves III, IV, VI, and VIII, as well as the thalamus, hypothalamus, periaquiductal gray, and other sub-cortical structures. The cure is as simple as the cause - massive injections of thiamine and magnesium. Wernicke's Encephalopathy is also referred to as Korsakoff's Syndrome or Alcohol-Related Dementia.