Encephalopathy - Definition

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Encephalopathy is a disease that affects the encephalon, the part of the central nervous system located in the skull and including the cerebral hemispheres, cerebellum, and brainstem. It can occur following an infection, poisoning, or can be a complication of a chronic neurological disease, such as in hepatic encephalopathy, which appears during the progression of cirrhosis. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the disorder and the initial pathology involved, but frequently include headaches, loss of consciousness or confused behavior, and localized neurological signs. The treatment depends on the cause.