Pronounced: En-SEF-a-lo-PATH-eeEn Español (Spanish Version)
This is a general term for a disease that alters a person’s brain function and mental state. Some types of encephalopathy include:
- Glycine encephalopathy—caused by a metabolic disorder (how the cells make energy)
- Hepatic encephalopathy—caused by liver disease
- Hypoxic encephalopathy—caused by reduced oxygen to brain
- Static encephalopathy—permanent brain damage
- Uremic encephalopathy—caused by toxins remaining in the body, usually due to kindney failure
- Wernicke’s encephalopathy—caused by a thiamine deficiency, usually due to alcoholism
- Hashimoto’s encephalopathy—an autoimmune disorder (when your immune system attacks your body’s cells)
- Hypertensive encephalopathy—caused by very high blood pressure
- Toxic-Metabolic encephalopathy—a general term to describe encephalopathies caused by infections, toxins, or organ failure
Treating the cause may reverse symptoms in some types. But, some forms of may result in lasting changes in the brain. If brain injury is severe and cannot be reversed, the disease can be fatal.
The cause depends on the type of encephalopathy. Causes include:
- Head trauma
- Metabolic dysfunction
- Brain tumor or increased pressure on the skull
- Exposure to toxins
- Poor nutrition
- No oxygen or blood flow to the brain
- Organ failure
Oxygen and Blood Flow to the Brain
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Last reviewedOctober 2014by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.