Coordination and cognition in pure nutritional Wernicke's encephalopathy with cerebellar degeneration after COVID-19 infection: A unique case report
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Clinical Medicine, 12, 7, (2023), article 2511
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC NRP
Journal of Clinical Medicine
SubjectNeuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
Background: Alcoholic cerebellar degeneration is a restricted form of cerebellar degeneration, clinically leading to an ataxia of stance and gait and occurring in the context of alcohol misuse in combination with malnutrition and thiamine depletion. However, a similar degeneration may also develop after non-alcoholic malnutrition, but evidence for a lasting ataxia of stance and gait and lasting abnormalities in the cerebellum is lacking in the few patients described with purely nutritional cerebellar degeneration (NCD). Methods: We present a case of a 46-year-old woman who developed NCD and Wernicke's encephalopathy (WE) due to COVID-19 and protracted vomiting, resulting in thiamine depletion. We present her clinical course over the first 6 months after the diagnosis of NCD and WE, with thorough neuropsychological and neurological examinations, standardized clinical observations, laboratory investigations, and repeated MRIs. Results: We found a persistent ataxia of stance and gait and evidence for an irreversible restricted cerebellar degeneration. However, the initial cognitive impairments resolved. Conclusions: Our study shows that NCD without involvement of alcohol neurotoxicity and with a characteristic ataxia of stance and gait exists and may be irreversible. We did not find any evidence for lasting cognitive abnormalities or a cerebellar cognitive-affective syndrome (CCAS) in this patient.
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