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October 1990

Memory Improvement in Korsakoff's Disease With Fluvoxamine

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(10):978. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810220094015

To the Editor.—  In the July 1989 issue of the Archives, Martin et al1 reported improvement of memory in patients with Korsakoff's psychosis (KP) by treatment with fluvoxamine maleate, a specific serotonin (5-HT) uptake inhibitor. This observation by itself is of interest, but the authors' interpretation of the data deserves comment.Are data available showing the effects of fluvoxamine treatment on memory test performance and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in normal persons?The statistical analyses supporting the conclusions made for subjects with KP should be viewed with considerable caution. Three variables were analyzed: plasma levels of fluvoxamine, degree of improvement on tests of memory, and amount of reduction of CSF 5-HIAA. A total of 15 data points (5 for each variable) were reported; too few to provide a reliable multivariate analysis. Ideally, 20 data points per variable are needed for a sound multivariate analysis, and