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Any disease of the brain.



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 ?
There is no consensus in the literature regarding the causative factors, but hypertensive encephalopathy, eclampsia, metabolic disorders, and iatrogenic or toxic agents have all been implicated in the etiology (2-5).
9,10) For patients who are not going to receive thrombolysis and do not have concomitant noncerebral hypertensive organ damage (aortic dissection, pulmonary edema, hypertensive encephalopathy, acute myocardial ischemia, acute renal failure), the guidelines suggest withholding blood pressure treatment unless the systolic blood pressure is >220 mm Hg or the diastolic blood pressure is > 120 mm Hg.
Hypertensive encephalopathy, renal failure, vasculitis, immunosuppressive treatment, and eclampsia have been reported to be major causes of this syndrome (Javad et al.
Several "overlap syndromes"--postpartum cerebral angiopathy, hypertensive encephalopathy, and reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome--may show neuroimaging features that are similar to or indistinguishable from those of eclampsia, they said (Clin.
Eclampsia is defined as the occurrence of seizures and/or coma resulting from hypertensive encephalopathy on a background of preeclampsia (1).

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