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Arch Neurol. 1996 Aug;53(8):758-63.

Neuropsychological characterization and detection of subclinical hepatic encephalopathy.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill., USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To elucidate the nature of the neuropsychological deficits associated with subclinical hepatic encephalopathy.

DESIGN:

Prospective study comparing the performance of patients with liver disease and carefully matched normal controls on a short but comprehensive neuropsychological test battery.

SETTING:

A university medical center.

PARTICIPANTS:

Twenty patients with cirrhosis (10 alcoholic and 10 nonalcoholic) and 20 controls carefully matched on the basis of age, sex, education, and alcohol history.

RESULTS:

The cirrhotic patients exhibited relatively selective deficits in complex attentional and fine motor skills, with preservation of general intellectual ability, memory, language and visuospatial perception.

CONCLUSIONS:

This pattern of neuropsychological deficits suggests a subcortical pathophysiology, possibly reflecting involvement of the basal ganglia. These neuropsychological findings are consistent with recent neuroradiological, electrophysiological, and neurophysiological research implicating basal ganglia involvement in cirrhosis.

PMID:
8759982
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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