Carl Wernicke notified an alcohol induced brain damage due to a deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine) caused by inadequate nutrition during excessive alcohol consumption due to massive disturbances in carbohydrate metabolism.
The symptoms are sudden disorders of awareness and movement (ataxia, pupils disorder, nystagmus). Treatment is done by intravenous administration of vitamin B1 in high dosage and strict alcohol abstinence. The chronic form of Wernicke encephalopathy is called Korsakov syndrome, transitions are called as Wernicke-Korsakov syndrome. ICD 10 Classification: E 51.2