Neuro-Cognitive Rehabilitation/Retraining in Alcoholic Korsakoff Syndrome: A Case Report

Neuro-Cognitive Rehabilitation/Retraining in Alcoholic
Korsakoff Syndrome: A Case Report

Satvinder Singh Saini1, Gagandeep Singh2, Rajni Sharma3, Mohsin Uddin4, Pooja Tyagi5,  Krishan Kumar6

1Play Therapist, Department of Psychiatry, PGIMER, Chandigarh, 2Play Therapist, Department of Pediatrics,  PGIMER, Chandigarh, 3Play Therapist, Department of Pediatrics,  PGIMER, Chandigarh, 4Consultant, Dept of Psychology IGNOU, New Delhi, 5Asst Prof, Amity University, Gwalior, MP, 6Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

Correspondence: Krishan Kumar, e-mail id:


Korsakoff Syndrome is a chronic memory disorder caused by severe deficiency of thiamine. It is most commonly caused by alcohol misuse. Alcoholic Korsakoff patients have their most marked deficits in memory, but may exhibit problems in further cognitive and behavioral domains. Case Presentation: We report a clinical case study of a fifty-eight years old male with chronic alcoholism with Korsakoff Syndrome. A detailed neuro-cognitive assessment was done to identify the cognitive deficit and to tailor the cognitive strategies for deficits. Intervention: After the initial sessions of cognitive retraining, the patient was able to generate 10 words which improved to 15-20 words. His attentiveness was improved to 80%. His performance on conversational skills was also improved to 70-80%. Overall improvement in attention concentration rated by the trainer was 70-80% and 40% improvement in immediate recall and retention. The improvement was generalized to other areas also. His attention in social communication was also improved. He was able to learn the social skills effectively and showed improvement in listening, expressive and assertiveness skills. Listening, expressive and assertive skills were improved significantly. Conclusion: Cognitive retraining proved to be a very effective method in this case and seen as a very useful approach in many clinical conditions with cognitive deficits. A drastic change was observed in the cognitive functioning of the patient, which could also observe by his family members.

Keywords: Neuro-cognitive rehabilitation, korsakoff syndrome.


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