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Keywords:

  • alcohol;
  • cognition;
  • hepatic encephalopathy;
  • hepatitis C;
  • liver disease;
  • neuropsychology;
  • primary biliary cirrhosis;
  • Wilson's disease

Abstract: Background: Cognitive dysfunction has been observed in a range of liver diseases including chronic hepatitis C virus, alcoholic liver disease, primary biliary cirrhosis and Wilson's disease. Such dysfunction may range from mild cognitive changes to overt hepatic encephalopathy, and represents a significant complication of liver disease that may negatively impact the patient's quality of life, and normal activities of daily living (e.g., driving).

Method: This article reviews the published evidence relating to cognitive dysfunction in liver disease.

Outcome: Issues of definition, diagnosis, epidemiology, aetiology, treatment and outcome are discussed. Particular attention is devoted to identifying the mild cognitive changes that occur in liver diseases of different aetiology.