Encephalopathy

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encephalopathy

[en‚sef·ə′läp·ə·thē]
(medicine)
Any disease of the brain.

Encephalopathy

 

a collective term that designates a noninflammatory organic disease of the brain. Some encephalopathies are innate, resulting from embryopathy. Others are the result of infection, poisoning, trauma, or vascular disease of the brain. There are no specific manifestations. The most common encephalopathies resemble neuroses (asthenia, irritability, insomnia, headaches) or psychoses (narrowed scope of interests, passivity, emotional instability, vulgarity). Symptoms may include memory loss or mental deterioration.

Alcoholic encephalopathies are alcoholic psychoses. They may be acute, as in Wernicke’s encephalopathy (named for the German neuropathologist C. Wernicke, who described the condition in 1881), or chronic, as in Korsakov’s psychosis (named for S. S. Korsakov) and alcoholic pseudoparalysis. Lead encephalopathy is caused by chronic poisoning by lead salts.

Treatment for encephalopathies depends on the cause of the disease.

References in periodicals archive ?
Alex and Gallant (2008) reinforce that as long as the baby is thriving and other pathologies have been ruled out, breast milk jaundice is not known to result in bilirubin encephalopathy.
They address genetics, biochemistry, transport, metabolism of bilirubin, the physiology and epidemiology of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, public policy measures, clinical management, and interventions for the prevention and treatment of hyperbilirubinemia and bilirubin encephalopathy in low and middle-income countries.
The process of observation, clinical monitoring, and laboratory testing that continues throughout the infant's first week of life has a single objective--to prevent extreme hyperbilirubinemia [a TSB concentration >25-30 mg/dL (>428-513 [micro]mol/L)] and its rare but dreaded consequence, bilirubin encephalopathy.