New paper: Rehabilitation in Korsakoff’s syndrome patients should focus on preserved declarative visuospatial learning

Korsakoff’s syndrome is characterized by profound declarative amnesia following thiamine deficiency and alcoholism. Despite the severity of the declarative amnesia, some aspects of learning and memory seem to be better preserved than others. In our novel paper, published in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, we tested multiple subdomains within declarative memory to find residual capacities in learning and memory. Although we found that all aspects of declarative memory and learning are compromised, visuospatial memory functioning was better preserved than verbal memory, suggesting that visuospatial memory can form a more promising target for compensatory memory rehabilitation than verbal memory. Based on the present findings we aim to provide more visuospatial rehabilitation strategies in Korsakoff’s syndrome to compensate for global amnesia.

Oudman, E., Postma, A., Nijboer, T.C.W., Wijnia, J.W., Van der Stigchel, S. (in press). Visuospatial declarative learning despite profound verbal declarative amnesia in Korsakoff's syndrome. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation.