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A Patient Suffering From Memory Loss Shortened Attention Span Disorientation
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a decline in brain function that results from a build-up of toxins in the blood.The condition occurs when a person’s liver cannot remove sufficient toxins from the bloodstream. People with acute liver damage or advanced liver disease are at risk of developing HE.Keep reading for more information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of HE.HE refers to a decline in brain function due to a build-up of toxins in the blood. It is a secondary condition that results from liver damage.Ordinarily, the liver removes toxins, such as ammonia, from the blood. A liver that is damaged or diseased is less able to remove these toxins, which collect in the bloodstream and travel to other organs.HE develops when toxins enter the brain and damage brain cells. This can cause physical and psychological symptoms.People with HE experience at least some decline in brain function. In severe cases, a person may lose consciousness and go into a coma.The symptoms of HE differ, depending on the cause of the liver damage and the severity of HE.People with mild-to-moderate HE may experience:difficulty with small hand movements, which may affect handwriting, for examplesweet- or musty-smelling breathforgetfulnessdifficulty thinking and concentratingconfusionpoor judgmentchanges in personalityPeople with severe HE may experience additional symptoms, such as:extreme sleepinessslowed movementssevere anxietymore significant personality changesconfused or slurred speechan inability to perform mental tasksshaking of the hands or armsseizuresA person who experiences any symptoms of severe HE should receive emergency medical attention.There are three types of HE, and each progress in the same five stages.Types of HEDoctors have identified the following three types of HE:Type AType A HE results from acute liver failure (ALF), which occurs when someone with no preexisting liver disease experiences a rapid decline in liver function. This decline usually takes place over days or weeks.The most common cause of ALF is acetaminophen overdose. Some other causes include:excessive alcohol consumptionhepatitis infectionWilson’s disease, a hereditary condition that involves an accumulation of copper in the bodyType BType B HE results from a portal-systemic bypass. This involves blood flowing around the liver when it would ordinarily flow to the liver. The redirection prevents the liver from effectively filtering toxins from the blood.Two potential causes are congenital abnormality and trauma.Type CType C HE results from severe scarring — cirrhosis — of the liver. Cirrhosis develops during late stage liver disease.Over time, as scar tissue increasingly replaces healthy tissue, the liver is less able to remove toxins from the blood and perform its other functions.Researchers estimate that around 70% of people with cirrhosis experience symptoms of HE. Many people only develop mild HE symptoms, and these may recur throughout the person’s life.According to the American Liver Foundation, the most common causes of cirrhosis are:Stages of HEAccording to the American Liver Foundation, there are five stages of HE. The severity of a person’s symptoms determines the stage of HE.The five stages are:Stage 0: minimal symptoms, which may involve coordination and concentrationStage 1: mild symptoms, such as loss of sleep and shortened attention spanStage 2: moderate symptoms, such as memory loss and slurred speechStage 3: severe symptoms, including personality changes, confusion, and extreme lethargyStage 4: a loss of consciousness and comaBelow are some causes of liver damage that can result in HE:The following tips can help people protect their livers from disease and infection, thereby helping reduce the risk of developing HE:avoiding excessive alcohol consumptionavoiding high fat foodsmaintaining a healthy weightwashing the hands effectively and consistently after using the bathroomrefraining from sharing needlesgetting vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis BThe diagnostic procedure for HE begins with a physical examination and a discussion of the person’s symptoms and medical history. In some cases, a doctor may be able to diagnose HE using these methods alone.In other cases, a doctor may order one or more tests to help determine whether a person’s symptoms are the result of HE. Examples of such tests include:Blood tests: These can help identify conditions associated with HE, including infection, bleeding, and liver or kidney dysfunction. They can also identify an increase of toxins in the blood.Imaging tests: An MRI or CT scan of the brain can help a doctor identify abnormalities.Electroencephalogram: Also known as an EEG, this test measures electrical activity in the brain to identify changes associated with HE.The best treatment for HE will depend on the following factors:the severity of HEthe types of symptomsthe severity of the underlying liver damagethe person’s agetheir overall healthSome treatments will target the underlying cause of HE. Depending on the cause, these treatments may involve:medications to treat infectionmedicines or procedures to control bleedingstopping the use of medication that could be triggering HEtreating any underlying kidney problemsThe doctor may also prescribe medication to help reduce levels of ammonia and other toxins in the blood. Because these toxins are often produced in the intestines, this type of treatment targets the gut.For example, the doctor may prescribe lactulose, a synthetic sugar, to speed up digestion and prevent the intestines from absorbing toxins. Lactulose also reduces the amount of ammonia-producing bacteria in the intestines.In terms of other treatments, people who experience breathing difficulty as a result of HE may require oxygen or a ventilator.When severe liver damage or disease has caused severe HE, a person may require a liver transplant.A person with HE has the best chance of recovery if they and their doctor identify the symptoms quickly and begin treatment as soon as possible. This will entail treating HE and its underlying cause.Appropriate treatment can often reverse HE. However, people with chronic liver disease or cirrhosis may experience recurring episodes of HE symptoms.The best way to prevent these episodes is to manage the condition with treatment.
Video about A Patient Suffering From Memory Loss Shortened Attention Span Disorientation
Is Twitter Shortening Our Attention Spans? – Nick Douglas
Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2009/09/24/Twitter_Wit_Nick_Douglas_and_Guests
Nick Douglas, author of Twitter Wit, defends Twitter against accusations that it is contributing to shortened attention spans. Douglas draws from the example of a user named « shitmydadsays » to demonstrate how people are using the medium to create continuous story lines and build characters.
In Twitter Wit, Nick Douglas has collected the best tweets out there. Douglas has assembled these aphorisms to champion the wit and wisdom that is shared among Twitter users.
Funny, astute, and perfectly economical, these 140-character pieces of perspective reveal how Twitter users can be philosophical, hilarious, and literary in a way that appeals to our contemporary (short) attention span. With submissions ranging from quotidian vignettes like « I bet in Sweden the Ikea instructions are in English, » to bumper sticker-type quips like « I think the bird of love is the dove. My husband thinks it’s the swallow, » Twitter Wit has something in it that we can all relate to.
And with contributors ranging from celebrities like Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Rainn Wilson, Russell Brand and John Hodgman to regular people with previously unappreciated sharp tongues, readers are sure to find new Twitter users to follow.
Featuring a foreword by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, this authorized anthology of the thousand most clever and memorable tweets relates the diversity of human experience in hilarious bite-sized pieces. – Booksmith
Nick Douglas is a technology writer and humorist known for bringing a sarcastic viewpoint to the usually dry world of tech journalism.
The founding editor of Valleywag, Gawker Media’s blog about Silicon Valley, Douglas has also written for Wired, Slate, and the Huffington Post, among others. Douglas boasts over 9,000 followers on Twitter, making him one of the top 200 users on the site. He lives in New York City. Visit his website www.toomuchnick.com.
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