Hala I. Mohamed, Hanaa Kh. Fath-Elbab, Salwa M. Rabie, Walid M. Abel-Hamid
Cognitive dysfunction has been observed in a range of liver diseases including chronic hepatitis C virus. Such dysfunction may range from mild cogniti ve changes to overt hepatic encephalopathy. The main purpose was to assess the type of neuropsychol ogical deficits observed in patients with HCV. We further address the issue of whether cognitive i mpairment is HCV specific, by comparing neurocognitive performance in HCV and HBV patients. The current study assessed 50 HCV patients using standardized neuropsychological measures and compared them with 22 HBV infected patients and 20 healthy controls .The Study participants und erwent a comprehensive neuropsychological battery to assess functioning in the areas of visu ospatial, naming, attention, memory, verbal fluency , orientation abstraction, and also depression, and anxiety questionnaires were completed. Chronic HCV and HBV patients performed significantly worse than healthy controls in MoCA scores especially in attention, naming, memory, fluency, abstraction and orientation (dominant hemisphere functions). They also had more depression and anxiety. Hepatiti s C and hepatitis B patients were similarly impaired in cognitive function. HCV patients cognit ive capacity (MoCA and MADRS scores) were significantly associated with liver disease severit y as indicated by fibrosis stage. We conclude that chronic HCV infection is accompanied by impairment of cognitive functions. This dysfunction does not appear to be HCV specific, as HBV patients were fou nd to be similarly impaired.
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