Sex Differences in Korsakoff's Syndrome for Inhibition but Not for Episodic Memory or Flexibility

Mohamad El Haj, Roy P C Kessels, Jean-Louis Nandrino
American Journal on Addictions 2020 January 15

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: While sex differences in cognitive abilities have been extensively studied in healthy populations, little is known about these differences in patients with Korsakoff syndrome (KS).

METHODS: We investigated sex differences in verbal episodic memory, inhibition, and flexibility in 25 patients with KS and 25 control participants.

RESULTS: The analysis demonstrated no significant differences between women with KS and men with KS on episodic memory and flexibility, but higher inhibition was observed in women with KS compared with men with KS. Regarding control participants, no significant differences were observed between women and men on inhibition or flexibility, but higher verbal episodic memory was observed in women compared with men. Verbal episodic memory and flexibility seem to be equally affected in women and men with KS, whereas inhibition seems to be more affected in men than in women with KS.

CONCLUSIONS AND SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings highlight cognitive sex differences in KS in executive function. Critically, our findings are the first quantitative data about episodic performances (and cognitive performances in general) of women and men with KS. (Am J Addict 2020;00:00-00).

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