Nonalcoholic cirrhosis associated with neuropsychological dysfunction in the absence of overt evidence of hepatic encephalopathy

Gastroenterology. 1984 Jun;86(6):1421-7.


Although much is known about the neuropsychological functioning of cirrhotic individuals with Laennec's (alcohol associated) cirrhosis, little is known about the neuropsychological functioning of individuals with nonalcoholic cirrhosis. In the present investigation, we have determined that individuals suffering from chronic nonalcoholic cirrhosis, despite the absence of clinical signs of hepatic encephalopathy, are impaired on neuropsychological tests that measure visuopractic capacity, visual scanning, and perceptual-motor speed. In contrast, intellectual, language, memory, attentional, motor, and learning abilities are intact. In comparison with a chronically ill control group of patients suffering from Crohn's disease, individuals with advanced nonalcoholic cirrhosis exhibit less emotional disturbance, but are more impaired in their daily activities. These findings indicate that individuals with nonalcoholic cirrhosis, even in the absence of overt clinical signs of encephalopathy, manifest neuropsychological impairments and experience significant disruption in the routines of everyday living.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Crohn Disease / psychology
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis / psychology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / psychology
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / etiology
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Psychomotor Performance