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Any disease of the brain.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
To avoid the risk of bilirubin encephalopathy in group B, keeping in view their clinical status, the exchange transfusion was undertaken even at lower levels of serum bilirubin.
The term 'kernicticus' is often used interchangeably with 'bilirubin encephalopathy', but Hockenberry and Wilson (2007) suggest that this refers to the yellow staining of the brain caused by bilirubin encephalopathy.
In 2004, AAP issued a clinical practice guideline focused on reducing the frequency of severe hyperbilirubinemia and bilirubin encephalopathy (10).
This is the first time that the Task Force has addressed chronic bilirubin encephalopathy, a rare neurologic condition that affects roughly less than 1 infant per 100,000 live births.
The term is often used interchangeably with bilirubin encephalopathy. Kernicterus denotes chronicity of this condition and can be seen with magnetic resonance imaging.
The level of bilirubin concentration at which ET should be indicated remains the subject of disagreement, since the incidence of bilirubin encephalopathy also depends on other variables such as gestational age, the presence or absence of haemolysis and the newborn's clinical status.
The letter cites in vitro studies that have shown that ceftriaxone "can displace bilirubin from its binding to serum albumin," which can result in bilirubin encephalopathy in this population.
Unconjugated bilirubin that is left untreated, however, may lead to bilirubin encephalopathy (also called kernicterus), which is a condition of severe brain damage that results from unconjugated bilirubin crossing the blood-brain barrier and depositing into neurons (Hazinski, 1999).
Concern of pediatrician regarding the early discharge is bilirubin encephalopathy sequel occurring in healthy term infants even without hemolysis.
The new guideline makes exchange transfusion mandatory for an infant with signs of acute bilirubin encephalopathy and a bilirubin near or above the exchange level.
However, acute bilirubin encephalopathy, the clinical manifestation of bilirubin toxicity in the brain, and kernicterus, the permanent injury from such toxicity, do occur.