Encephalopathy (toxic)

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Overview of Encephalopathy (toxic)

Encephalopathy is characterized by any condition or disease that adversely affects the structure or function of the brain. There are different types of encephalopathies and disorders of the brain. Encephalopathy can be temporary but in some cases the damage to the brain is permanent. There are two main types of encephalopathy, genetic and acquired. Genetic encephalopathies are present from birth and usually remain present throughout the life of affected individual. Acquired encephalopathies can be severe or mild. There are different subtypes of acquired encephalopathies depending on the underlying cause of the brain damage. Various diseases, infections and disorders of the body can directly or indirectly affect the brain. Two main subtypes of acquired encephalopathies include hepatic encephalopathy and toxic encephalopathies. Other types of encephalopathies include hypertensive encephalopathy, Lyme encephalopathy, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and static encephalopathy.

Causes and Risk Factors of Encephalopathy (toxic)

Hepatic encephalopathy occurs due to presence of severe liver disorder. A dysfunctional liver has adverse effects on the function of brain as the liver fails to remove harmful toxins from the body and these toxins can lead to brain damage. There are two types of hepatic encephalopathy, acute which is short term and treatable and chronic which is long term and slow damage to the brain due to liver dysfunction. Toxic hepatitis, acute fulminant viral hepatitis and Reye’s syndrome are main types of liver disorders that lead to hepatic encephalopathy.

Signs and Symptoms of Encephalopathy (toxic)

The main symptom of encephalopathy includes memory issues, lack of problem solving skills, poor concentration, personality changes, trembling, seizures, involuntary twitching, and muscular weakness, difficulty swallowing or speaking.