Understanding Hepatic Encephalopathy

What Is Hepatic Encephalopathy

Your liver performs over 500 important functions for your body. One of its most important roles is to clean you blood. When the liver doesn’t work properly, toxins begin to build up in your bloodstream. Once they travel to the brain, these toxins cause trouble for your nervous system and brain function. The resulting disorder is called Hepatic Encephalopathy or HE.

Man scratches head in confusion

Causes and Symptoms of Hepatic Encephalopathy

HE often occurs in people who have a chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis. It can be mild or severe and, if treated, can be reversible. It has a wide array of symptoms that affects your brain, speech, nerves, personality, coordination, and more.

Symptoms can include:

  • Confusion and personality changes
  • Sleep pattern changes
  • Slurred speech
  • Coordination and balance issues
  • Muscle twitches and hand flapping
  • Breath that smells sweet or musty

Woman holds outline of liver

Treatment Options for Hepatic Encephalopathy

Up to 70% of those with liver cirrhosis develop symptoms of HE, so prevention is important in order to avoid developing this disorder and the resulting damage. Impact Research Institute is now conducting clinical trials researching potential new options to help prevent HE. If you or a loved one is living with advanced liver cirrhosis, you may qualify for one of our studies. Those that qualify and participate may see a doctor or other medical staff at no cost, have access to study medications, and receive compensation for time and travel.

Click here to learn more or call us at 254-294-4780 today.







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