Wernicke’s encephalopathy, also known as Wernicke/Korsakoff syndrome, is a serious medical condition that even cause death. People in Texas deserve medical providers who are up-to-date on the diagnosis and treatment for Wernicke’s encephalopathy. Identifying this condition early is one of the keys to treating it successfully.
The basics of Wernicke’s encephalopathy
When someone has Wernicke’s encephalopathy, they present with a number of very concerning symptoms. Patients may be confused and have trouble maintaining their balance. One of the most characteristic symptoms of Wernicke’s encephalopathy is uncontrolled, repeating eye movements. The technical name for this is horizontal gaze-evoked nystagmus.
It’s very important for physicians and other medical providers to recognize horizontal gaze-evoked nystagmus because it’s one of the earliest signs of Wernicke/Korsakoff syndrome. This condition is an outer manifestation of the deficiency of an essential B-vitamin. Without thiamine or vitamin B1, people can’t survive. Thiamine helps people get energy from food. It is also necessary for good nerve, heart and muscle function.
When people don’t have enough thiamine, they can eventually fall into a coma and pass away. It can be difficult for people with Wernicke’s encephalopathy to communicate effectively with their doctors. Some causes of this condition include vomiting that lasts for days or weeks. Chronic alcoholism is also a major cause of thiamine deficiency, especially in the developed world.
If you or a loved one were diagnosed late and suffered side effects from Wernicke’s encephalopathy, it’s a good idea to contact a lawyer. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help people understand if they have a case, why and how what kinds of damages they can claim.