The term "encephalopathy" refers to illness or injury to the brain. It occurs whenever there is a shift in how your brain functions or when your body undergoes a change that has an impact on your brain. These modifications result in a changed state of mind, which is occasionally accompanied by physical symptoms (for example, poor coordination of limb movements).
In most instances, the term "encephalopathy" is followed by a number of phrases that define the cause, origin, or unique characteristics of the patient that result in brain dysfunction. For instance, hepatic encephalopathy denotes brain dysfunction brought on by liver illness, whereas anoxic encephalopathy denotes brain damage brought on by a lack of oxygen.
Moreover, other terms either describe bodily ailments or syndromes of brain abnormalities. Wernicke's encephalopathy (also known as Wernicke's syndrome) and metabolic encephalopathy are two examples of this.
Encephalopathy has two main types:
Your encephalopathy's kind and the cause will determine your symptoms; however, some of the more typical ones include:
Some individuals may also:
Call your doctor or visit the emergency department if you or anyone else exhibits any of these symptoms.
Encephalopathy is often diagnosed by clinical tests performed during a physical examination (mental status tests, memory tests, and coordination tests) that demonstrate an altered mental state. Some common diagnostic tests are:
Depending on the underlying cause of the symptoms, encephalopathy has different treatments. As a result, not all encephalopathy patients receive the same care.
Here are some examples of various "encephalopathy therapies" for various causes:
Understanding the underlying cause of any encephalopathy is essential to treating it, as is developing a therapeutic strategy.
Encephalopathy is a medical condition that can have a wide range of complications, from none to severe mental disabilities that can result in death. Many researchers believe that encephalopathy is a secondary condition that arises due to an underlying medical condition or diagnosis. The complications associated with encephalopathy can vary depending on the underlying cause.
Uremic encephalopathy can cause lethargy, hallucinations, stupor, muscle twitching, seizures, and death. Hashimoto's encephalopathy can result in confusion, heat intolerance, and dementia. Wernicke's encephalopathy can cause mental confusion, memory loss, and a decreased ability to move the eyes. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or "mad cow disease" can lead to ataxia, dementia, and myoclonus, or muscle twitching without any rhythm or pattern. Shigella encephalopathy may cause headache, stiff neck, delirium, seizures, and coma.
Infectious causes of pediatric encephalopathy can lead to irritability, poor feeding, hypotonia (or "floppy baby syndrome"), seizures, and death. To understand the potential side effects of encephalopathy, it is important to discuss them with the diagnosing physician, who can explain the specific risks associated with the underlying cause(s) of the particular type of encephalopathy.
Encephalopathy is a broad term referring to brain damage. This can be due to certain underlying health conditions or an injury to the head. There are two types of encephalopathy: reversible and irreversible. In the case of reversible encephalopathy, the brain damage and resultant mental conditions are temporary and can be regained over time with medications and rehabilitation, while the same is not true for irreversible encephalopathy, where the conditions are permanent and can only be managed to provide a better quality of life. The diagnosis and treatment procedures vary for different encephalopathies and depend on the underlying primary conditions. Therefore, these might not be the same for every person who has encephalopathy. It is highly advisable to contact a healthcare professional if you experience any symptoms. They will help you with the diagnosis and plan the treatment procedure thereafter.