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by Kerr SJ

(Glycine Encephalopathy; Hepatic Encephalopathy; Hypoxic Encephalopathy; Statin Encephalopathy; Uremic Encephalopathy; Wernicke’s Encephalopathy; Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy; Hypertensive Encephalopathy; Toxic-metabolic Encephalopathy)



This is a general term for a disease that alters a person’s brain function and mental state. Some types of encephalopathy include:
Treating the cause can reverse symptoms. But, some forms of may result in lasting changes in the brain. If brain injury is severe and cannot be reversed, the disease can be fatal.


Your doctor will:
  • Ask about your symptoms
  • Take your medical history
  • Do a physical exam
Tests may include:
  • Blood tests
  • Spinal tap —removal of a small amount of spinal fluid for testing
  • CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the brain
  • MRI scan —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the brain
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) —a test that records the brain’s activity by measuring electrical currents through the brain


National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke



Canadian Liver Foundation

Health Canada



Encephalopathy. California Pacific Medical Center website. Available at: . Updated May 2004. Accessed May 26, 2011.

Encephalopathy. Congress of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: . Updated July 2007. Accessed May 26, 2011.

NINDS encephalopathy page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: . Updated November 2010. Accessed May 26, 2011.

Smith N. Hepatic encephalopathy. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: . Updated September 2010. Accessed May 26, 2011.


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