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A NEW WORD IN PSYCHIATRY KORSAKOV PSYCHOSIS

A NEW WORD IN PSYCHIATRY KORSAKOV PSYCHOSIS

Date. 1887.

Author. Sergei S. Korsakov (1854–1900) – neuropsychiatrist, Doctor of Medicine, Professor of Emperor Moscow University, Medical Department.

Aims. Proof of nosological independence, description of clinical manifestation and search for methods of treatment of the psychosis.

Tasks. Clinical selection of polyneuritic psychosis, defining its genesis, description of symptomatology and process, setting the prognosis, pathology studying, development of principles and methods of treatment. 

Methods and stages of work. On the basis of his clinical observations S. S. Korsakov found that the above mentioned phychotic conditions are usually preceded by alcoholic delirium or encephalopathy. The distinctive triad of symptoms has been singled out: fixed amnesia, confabulation, amnestic disorientation.

Implementation and value. The conception of Korsakov psychosis later on were broadened and on its basis there has been formulated a new notion – «Korsakov syndrome». The description of the syndrome became is internationally accepted in world’s psychiatry and neurology, and was included in all leading international manuals.

Publication. Korsakov S. S. Alcoholic Paralysis. Medical doctorate thesis. 1887.

“In his brilliant thesis “Alcohol paralysis” (1887) S. S. Korsakov first-ever described a peculiar alcoholics’ psychosis combined with polyneuritis, that is characterized mainly by a loss of short-time memory, retrograde amnesia, confabulation inclinations, alcoholic polyneuritis along with almost complete memory of long-gone events. S. S. Korsakov named this disease polyneuritic psychosis. Later S. S. Korsakov, his students and other scientists deepened and specified doctrine of this disease, underlining, that it can occur not only connected with alcoholism, but as a result of an infection, intoxication. S. S. Korsakov supposed that the reason for the polyneuritic psychosis is the toxins which cause the polyneuritis and simultaneously affect the cerebrum. Having broadened the boarders of the origin of this disease he later called it toxic cerebropathy.

Nowadays the name Korsakov psychosis (unlike Korsakov syndrome, which can occur during other diseases) assigned with the cases, which have alcohol etiology, pronounced clinical picture, described by Korsakov”. (Professor A. E. Bobrov)

 

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