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November 1969

Subnormal Body Temperatures in Wernicke's Encephalopathy

Arch Neurol. 1969;21(5):493-498. doi:10.1001/archneur.1969.00480170065006

THE CLINICAL features of Wernicke's encephalopathy include a wide spectrum of symptoms and signs. In several reports1-7 since 1941, based on relatively large numbers of cases, disturbances of consciousness, ocular abnormalities, and ataxia were the most frequent findings. It has been pointed out, however, that all signs of this "classical triad" rarely occur in a single patient,3,6 and that the diagnosis cannot be established during life if eye findings are absent.5 In this communication, we draw attention to the presence of subnormal body temperatures in Wernicke's disease. While hypothermia has been described in case reports,2,8-13 and neurology texts14-16 dealing with this disorder, the frequency of occurrence and significance of this symptom have not been discussed in detail. unresponsive state. A history was obtained from his stepson and the landlord who stated that the patient was always somewhat of a recluse. However, two weeks prior