There are many causes. Some common ones are:
- Head injury
- Brain tumor or pressure in the brain
- Poor nutrition
- Exposure to toxins
- No oxygen or blood flow to the brain
|Oxygen and Blood Flow to the Brain|
|Encephalopathy can happen when the brain does not get oxygen and blood.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
The main problem is a change in mental state, such as:
- Memory loss that happens quickly or over time
- Lack of focus
- Problems thinking
- Mood changes
- Behavior changes
Other problems may be:
- Being very tired
- Muscle weakness and unsteadiness
- Lack of muscle control, such as jerking or twitching
- Moving the eyes without control
The doctor will ask you or your caregiver about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
These tests may be done to confirm the diagnosis and find the cause:
- Blood tests
- Lumbar puncture to test the fluid around the brain and spine
- CT scan or MRI scan—to look for changes in the brain
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)—a test that records the brain’s electrical activity
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
Copyright © EBSCO Information Services
All rights reserved.
a (Glycine Encephalopathy; Hepatic Encephalopathy; Statin Encephalopathy; Uremic Encephalopathy; Hashimoto Encephalopathy; Hypertensive Encephalopathy; Toxic-metabolic Encephalopathy)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders http://www.niddk.nih.gov
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov
Canadian Liver Foundation http://www.liver.ca
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
Eencephalopathy information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Encephalopathy-Information-Page. Updated March 27, 2019. Accessed April 16, 2020.
Hepatic encephalopathy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hepatic-encephalopathy . Updated July 23, 2019. Accessed April 16, 2020.
Wijdicks EF. Hepatic Encephalopathy. N Engl J Med. 2016 Oct 27;375(17):1660-1670.