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Lancet. 2001 Jul 7;358(9275):38-9.

Evidence for a cerebral effect of the hepatitis C virus.

Abstract

Patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection frequently complain of symptoms akin to the chronic fatigue syndrome and score worse on health-related quality of life indices than matched controls. We address the hypothesis that HCV itself affects cerebral function. Using proton magnetic-resonance spectroscopy we have shown elevations in basal ganglia and white matter choline/creatine ratios in patients with histologically-mild hepatitis C, compared with healthy volunteers and patients with hepatitis B. This elevation is unrelated to hepatic encephalopathy or a history of intravenous drug abuse, and suggests that a biological process underlies the extrahepatic symptoms in chronic HCV infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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