Vitamins are essential nutrients required in tiny amounts by our body for its optimum development. We obtain it from external sources like food as almost all are not synthesized in our body. Although required in small amounts, vitamins serve as critical determinants of overall growth of body and functions. Classified according to the functions that they regulate, absence of these vitamins could lead to severe developmental defects. Some vitamin deficiencies affect brain development that is crucial for healthy body functioning. Any activity that interferes with vitamin absorption and assimilation leads to neurological symptoms.
What is Wernicke encephalopathy?
Wernicke encephalopathy (WE) is a wide range of neurological conditions related to poor vitamin B1 (thiamine) absorption. Encephalopathy is commonly used to refer malfunction and disease of the brain. The condition was named after the physician who discovered the condition, Dr. Carl Wernicke. Overall, Wernicke encephalopathy is not a common condition. It is often a consequence of chronic alcoholism. Postmortem studies of the alcohol consumers from western countries, report an estimated 12.5 percent with typical WE lesions. In addition, there is evidence of Wernicke encephalopathy in up to 60% of alcohol-related deaths, present WE lesions. However, this does not mean that the condition solely occurs in alcoholics.