Tuesday, 18 September 2012

WOTD: Encephalopathy

A CT scan of an 11 year old child with progressive encephalopathy secondary to HIV.
Photograph: rihes.cmu.ac.th

"Encephalopathy" - Any disorder affecting the brain, especially chronic degenerative conditions.

Wernicke's encephalopathy is a degenerative condition of the brain caused by deficiency of Vitamin B1. It's most common in those with chronic alcohol dependence. Hepatic encephalopathy is caused by the effect on the brain of toxic substances that have built up in the blood as a result of liver failure. It may lead to impaired consciousness, memory loss, a change in personality tremors and seizures.

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, is a disorder contracted by cattle after they are given feed containing material from other cattle or sheep. 

Other causes of encephalopathy include HIV infection, chickenpox, and Reye's syndrome. Treatment of encephalopathy depends on the cause.

"encephalopathy". British Medical Association (2007). Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 2nd ed. London: Dorling Kindersley (DK). p199.

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