Neuropsychological Intervention in a Case of Korsakoff's Amnesia
Maria de Fatima Alves Monteiro, Silvia Adriana Prado Bolognani, Thiago Strahler Rivero and Orlando Francisco Amodeo Bueno
The cognitive symptoms that characterise the Wernicke-Korsakoff's syndrome include anterograde amnesia, confabulation, temporal–spatial disorientation, severe apathy, poor awareness of one's own mental state and changes in executive functions. Such deficits may persist even after the clinical profile stabilises. There are no studies that report an intervention after the acute phase, possibly due to the complexity of these cases. This study provides a descriptive analysis of neuropsychological rehabilitation concomitant to the neurological and psychiatric treatment of a woman who presented the symptoms described by Korsakoff. The intervention focused on reducing the impact caused by the cognitive and behavioural sequelae in the patient's daily life. It described a 25-week neuropsychological program, providing education and compensatory strategies for the patient, and also orientation and support from 2 professional caregivers and family members. Quantitative and qualitative measures were used to evaluate the effect of the intervention on memory efficacy, emotional state and social participation. Both caregivers reported a decrease in the frequency of memory lapses after treatment. Positive changes were also seen in self-care, activities at home, decision-making and participation in social activities. It is concluded that this case achieved results through the collaboration between members of an interdisciplinary team and caregivers providing daily support.
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