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- Patient Comments: Encephalopathy - Type of Encephalopathy
- Patient Comments: Encephalopathy - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Encephalopathy - Diagnosis
- Patient Comments: Encephalopathy - Prognosis
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- Encephalopathy facts
- Encephalopathy definition and overview
- What causes encephalopathy?
- What are the symptoms of encephalopathy?
- How is encephalopathy diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for encephalopathy?
- What are the complications of encephalopathy?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for encephalopathy?
- Can encephalopathy be prevented?
- For more information on types of encephalopathy
What is the treatment for encephalopathy?
Treatment of encephalopathy varies with the primary cause of the symptoms. Consequently, not all cases of encephalopathy are treated the same.
Some examples of different "encephalopathy treatments" for different causes:
- Short-term anoxia (usually less than two minutes): oxygen therapy
- Long-term anoxia: rehabilitation
- Short-term alcohol toxicity: IV fluids or no therapy
- Long-term alcohol abuse (cirrhosis or chronic liver failure): oral lactulose, low-protein diet, antibiotics
- Uremic encephalopathy (due to kidney failure): correct the underlying physiologic cause, dialysis, kidney transplant
- Diabetic encephalopathy: administer glucose to treat hypoglycemia, insulin to treat hyperglycemia
- Hypo- or hypertensive encephalopathy: medications to raise (for hypotensive) or reduce (for hypertensive) blood pressure
The key to treatment of any encephalopathy is to understand the basic cause and thus design a treatment scheme to reduce or eliminate the cause(s). There is one type of encephalopathy that is difficult or impossible to treat; it is static encephalopathy (an altered mental state or brain damage that is permanent). The best that can be done with static encephalopathy is, if possible, to prevent further damage and implement rehabilitation to allow the individual to perform at his or her highest possible functional level.