Wernicke's encephalopathy: an experimental study in the rhesus monkey.
Experimental Wernicke's encephalopathy, induced in rhesus monkeys with a diet lacking thiamine (vitamin B1), is characterized by cavitary necrosis of the striatum as well as a microvacuolar periventricular lesion of the brain stem such as occurs in man. With high resolution light microscopy and electron microscopy, the primary structural alteration in the brain stem lesion, and probably also in the striatum, appears to be that of widespread "blister" formation due to splitting of myelin at the intraperiod line. Microvascular alterations were minimal, even in the most severely affected regions. It is the myelin blisters which give rise to the spongy texture of the neuropil. A similar splitting of myelin has been described in several other experimental encephalopathies, and it is probable that it also occurs in Wernicke's encephalopathy in man.
Blank, NK; Vick, NA; Schulman, S
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