Failure to Diagnose Thiamine Deficiency Could Lead To Wernicke’s Encephalopathy

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Legally reviewed by:
Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr.
January 12, 2024

Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1, is an essential B vitamin that helps fuel cell growth and convert the food people eat into energy. In order to maintain proper health, people need to make sure that they incorporate thiamine into their diets since the body is not able to produce it. Thiamine deficiency is a serious condition that can lead to devastating medical conditions, so it’s important that people with high risks for deficiency of this vitamin are monitored.
One condition that has thiamine deficiency as one of its causes is horizontal gaze-evoked nystagmus. Someone with this debilitating eye condition is unable to control their eye movements, with the eye making constant and repetitive motions instead.This condition is one of the earliest signs of thiamine deficiency, and the hope is that doctors are able to diagnose it early so that a course of treatment including thiamine supplementation via injection can begin.
A University of Illinois College of Medicine researcher noted the case of a 29-year-old woman who was admitted to the hospital after a two-week period of vomiting. The woman reported symptoms like vertigo, imbalance, trouble walking, and the sensation of believing that immobile objects were moving. A hospital clinician diagnosed her with intermittent nystagmus, a condition that prevented her from keeping her eyes in an “eccentric, lateral position”, also known as bilateral gaze holding failure. The condition is usually a direct result of thiamine deficiency affecting brainstem nuclei in the fourth ventricle.
The patient was treated with thiamine supplementation and was able to avoid coming down with Wernicke’s encephalopathy, an acute neurological condition directly related to thiamine deficiency.
Texas residents who have been diagnosed with Wernicke’s encephalopathy due to a failure to diagnose on the part of a doctor or medical facility may benefit by working with law firms that specialize in this type of medical malpractice. Their experience in working on complex medical may be helpful for patients who are unsure of next steps.

John A. Davis, Jr.


John A. Davis, Jr. and Steven R. Davis

January 12 2024

Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr. are experienced attorneys at Davis & Davis, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases in Texas. With a deep commitment to justice that guides their ethical approach, Davis and Davis have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical negligence. They and their team continue to advocate for clients, despite the challenges posed by Texas's cap on recoverable damages in malpractice lawsuits. Davis & Davis pride themselves on their extensive experience in the field and their readiness to meet clients across the United States.

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