Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

Wernicke's encephalopathy

noun

Medical Definition of Wernicke's encephalopathy

  1. :  an acute inflammatory hemorrhagic encephalopathy that is caused by thiamine deficiency (such as that associated with chronic alcoholism or malnutrition) and is characterized by loss of muscle coordination, visual disturbances (such as abnormal eye movement and diplopia), and confusion and memory loss Wernicke's encephalopathy is life-threatening if untreated and often precedes Korsakoff syndrome.



Biographical Note for wernicke's encephalopathy

Wernicke \ˈver-nə-kə\, Carl (1848–1905), German neurologist. Wernicke is important for his work in relating nerve diseases to specific areas of the brain. The last two decades of his life were spent as professor of neurology and psychiatry first at Breslau and then at Halle, Germany. Wernicke belonged to a 19th-century school of German neuropsychiatry that made no distinction between disorders of the mind and disorders of the brain. He is best known for his studies of aphasia.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Wernicke's encephalopathy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

immature or lacking adult sophistication

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

oily prompt maudlin angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ