Impaired Awareness in People with Severe Alcohol-Related Cognitive Deficits Including Korskoff’s Syndrome: A Network Analysis

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Background: Impaired awareness of one’s own functioning is highly common in people with Korsakoff’s syndrome (KS). However, it is currently unclear how awareness relates to impairments in daily functioning and quality of life (QoL). Methods: We assessed how impaired awareness relates to cognitive, behavioral, physical, and social functioning and QoL by applying a network analysis. We used cross-sectional data from 215 patients with KS or other severe alcohol-related cognitive deficits living in Dutch long-term care facilities (LTCFs). Results: Apathy has the most central position in the network. Higher apathy scores relate positively to reduced cognition and to a greater decline in activities of daily living and negatively to social participation and the use of antipsychotic drugs. Impaired awareness is also a central node. It is positively related to a higher perceived QoL, reduced cognition and apathy, and negatively to social participation and length of stay in the LTCF. Mediated through apathy and social participation, impaired awareness is indirectly related to other neuropsychiatric symptoms. Conclusions: Impaired awareness is closely related to other domains of daily functioning and QoL of people with KS or other severe alcohol-related cognitive deficits living in LTCFs. Apathy plays a central role. Network analysis offers interesting insights to evaluate the interconnection of different symptoms and impairments in brain disorders such as KS.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3139
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023


  • Korsakoff’s syndrome
  • anosognosia
  • network analysis
  • neuropsychiatric symptoms
  • nursing homes

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