Eight patients suffering from the alcoholic Korsakoff syndrome (AKS) were entered in a double-blind cross-over trial of fluvoxamine 200 mg per day for 4 weeks versus matched placebo for 4 weeks. At the end of each phase, patients were assessed using a detailed neuropsychological test battery. Verbal fluency performance was significantly impaired following fluvoxamine treatment. No significant differences emerged on any of the other cognitive test measures when fluvoxamine was compared with placebo. However, two of the patients developed a major depressive episode while receiving fluvoxamine.