Memory impairment in Korsakoff's psychosis: a correlation with brain noradrenergic activity

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Science  24 Nov 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4370, pp. 905-907
DOI: 10.1126/science.715450


The concentration of the primary brain metabolite of norepinephrine is diminished in the lumbar spinal fluid of patients with Korsakoff's syndrome. The extent of its reduction is significantly correlated with measures of memory impairment for individual patients. These data suggest that the memory disorder of Korsakoff's syndrome may result from damage to ascending noradrenergic pathways by the diencephalic and brainstem lesions associated with this disease.