Korsakoff's: the forgotten disease or the disease of forgetting

Alcoholverslaving en Korsakov

Korsakoff's syndrome involves a serious cognitive functioning disorder, primarily affecting executive functions. It is the result of brain damage connected to chronic excessive alcohol intake and the related poor diet causing vitamin deficiency. Korsakoff's syndrome patients do not always receive the care and attention they require, ‘forgotten’ in clinical practice and lacking in public interest.

Since early 2015, Albert Postma has been affiliated one day a week with Slingedael, an institution providing Korsakoff's syndrome treatment in Rotterdam, serving as head of a research committee designing new research policy and objectives related to the recently acquired TopCare status: focused research intended to improve treatment practice for the residents, as well as their living conditions.

Various Utrecht University (UU) students are participating in conducting a number of studies. The intention is to develop new fundamental knowledge and to use existing fundamental knowledge to improve treatment practice, as well as to begin new studies focusing on treatment practice.

Examples include teaching new skills such as doing laundry in order to build residents' independence and enhance their self-esteem (see Oudman, E., Nijboer, T., Postma, A., Wijnia, J., Kerklaan, S., Lindsen, K., and van der Stigchel, S. (2013). Acquisition of an instrumental activity of daily living in patients with Korsakoff's syndrome: a comparison of trial and error and errorless learning. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 23(6), 888–913), and using dynamic lighting to create a positive effect on residents' behaviour and mood.

Led by: Albert Postma and Hilda van den Oosterkamp (Slingedael manager)
In collaboration with: Dr Erik Oudman (Experimental Psychology Department at UU) and Slingedael (in Dutch).
Funded by: Slingedael and Topcare
Project duration until 2024

> Read publication: 'Smartwatch aids time-based prospective memory in Korsakoff syndrome: a case study'