More than half of patients who have cirrhosis of the liver also display neurocognitive impairments such as short term memory loss, a study led by a Loyola University Health System researcher has found.
Loyola neuropsychologist Christopher Randolph, PhD, and colleagues found that 54 percent of 301 cirrhosis patients who were tested scored below the 10th percentile for their age and education on a test that measures neurocognitive abilities.
"Neurocognitive impairment is a major issue in patients with liver disease," Randolph said. "This can affect patients' ability to do everyday tasks such as working, driving or managing their finances."
Randolph reported results May 3 during the Digestive Disease Week meeting of physicians and researchers in New Orleans. Randolph is a clinical professor in the Department of Neurology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
Neurocognitive impairment in liver patients is called hepatic encephalopathy. It is believed to be caused by toxins such as ammonia that diseased livers do not clear from the body. Randolph's study is the first to document how liver patients compare with the general population.
Liver patients from multiple centers nationwide were given a test developed by Randolph called the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS™). The widely used paper-and-pencil test takes 20 to 25 minutes and measures memory, attention, language and visual-spatial functions. It includes tasks such as identifying line drawings of common objects, repeating lists of digits, copying geometrical figures and recalling a story.
In the general population, the average score on RBANS tests is 100. Among liver patients in Randolph's study who had neurocognitive impairments, the average score was 74. This is lower than the average score of patients with early-stage Alzheimer's disease.
Prevalence of neurocognitive impairment was independent of age, gender, educational level or severity of the underlying disease.
The findings are a subset of a larger study to determine whether an experimental compound called AST-120 benefits liver patients who have neurocognitive impairments. AST-120 absorbs ammonia and other toxins. Patients have been randomly assigned to receive AST-120 or a placebo.
The study is funded by Ocera Therapeutics, which is developing compounds to treat liver diseases and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Jim Ritter | EurekAlert!
Cardiac diseases: when less is more
30.03.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern
TSRI researchers develop new method to 'fingerprint' HIV
29.03.2017 | Scripps Research Institute
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
30.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
30.03.2017 | Studies and Analyses
30.03.2017 | Life Sciences