The human species faces different challenges on a daily basis. These challenges exist in all the three aspects of life. That is; economic, political and also in the social aspect of life. In effort of trying to overcome these challenges, the human species has found itself coming up with different inventions. These inventions try have led to massive developments in different fields in this world. The fields of medicine has not been left behind in coming up with means of identifying agents that cause diseases, means of managing them from spreading and also curative measures. In this context, I will discuss one condition that attacks mankind on a daily basis. I will discuss Encephalopathy.
Encephalopathy is a terminology used to refer to a disease or a disorder of the brain (Bluml &Panigraphy, 2013). There were scientists who used this terminology to refer to a specific condition, but not anymore. This is because, researchers believe that this terminology is better used in representing brain dysfunctions that tend to inhibit a global syndrome. This is also because experts in this field belief that there are organic and inorganic characteristics that seem to be cause of this syndrome (Stimola, 2012). Understanding the terminology sometimes requires a sound mind in the field of medicine. This is because; sometimes it can be used to refer to reversible brain damages whereas in other cases it can be used to refer to either a degenerative or a permanent brain injury. All that matters is the affected region, and how grave or minute the injured or infected place is. This is because sometimes it may just be remotely present illness in the brain while in other cases it can be an injury which is direct to the brain.
In short, encephalopathy can be used to refer to diverse varieties of brain disorders. For example, there are medical practitioners who prefer using it when referring to different implications, etiologies and also prognoses (Stevenson, 2009). Transmissible injuries to the brain, which medical practitioners refer to as proin diseases, are significantly fatal, but when compared to other forms of encephalopathies are reversible. These forms of reversible encephalopathy are mainly caused by factors like toxins, and malnutritional deficiencies among others.
Encephalopathy exists in many types (Stimola, 2012). For example, there is mitochondrial encephalopathy, which is primarily caused by the DNA’S mitochondrial dysfunction. This type makes the body immune system weak attacking the Nervous system and the brain in particular. There is also Glycine encephalopathy, which a genetically induced disorder causing excessive Glycine production. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is also another disorder which occurs when an injury prevents enough oxygen delivery to the brain. Uremic encephalopathy is another dysfunction which is caused by excessive toxic material in the brain (Bluml & Panigraphy, 2013). The point I am trying to put across is; there are numerous types of encephalopathy emanating from different factors found in our environment, and in the human body. Other types of encephalopathy include; hepatic, static, wernicke’s encephalopathy, chronic traumatic, toxic-metabolic encephalopathy among many more types.
Detecting encephalopathy is matter of observation and open-mindedness. This is because; its hallmark is mainly characterized by altered mental conditions (Stevenson, 2009). An individual inhibiting encephalopathy especially in a severe stage shows signs of depression consciousness, personality changes, lethargy, inability to concentrate and loss of cognitive abilities. There are other symptoms like nystagmus, seizures, tremor, post-hypercapnic, apneustic respirations, myoclonus, jactitation and sterixis (Stevenson, 2009). There also respiratory abnormalities that are inhabited by encephalopathy such as Cheyne-Stokes respiration.
When an individual starts showing these characteristics, diagnosis becomes a matter of confirming suspicions as well as making sure that a patient is not subjected to the wrong treatment. Therefore, when it comes to diagnosing encephalopathy, there are different methods, and studies that are used in confirming whether a disease is actually encephalopathy. They include brain imaging tests and studies, examination of the cerebrospinal fluid by the use of spinal tap, electro-encephalopathy and blood tests among other similar diagnostic processes (Stimola, 2012). These studies of confirming and differentiating types of encephalopathy are done clinically most of the times as only an experienced clinician is in a better position to interpret the diagnosis from a series of tests done on a patient.
When it comes to therapy and prognosis, the skills of an experienced clinician comes in handy. This is because depending on the type of the encephalopathy and its severity, treatment varies (Bluml & Panigraphy, 2013). The most common treatment method that medical practitioners use is administration of anticonvulsants for reducing or stopping seizures. Surgery and dialysis are also common treatment methods, mainly advocated for in severe cases. Other patients who are still in early stages can be advised to change their diets or use nutritional supplements.
Blüml, S., & Panigrahy, A. (2013). MR spectroscopy of pediatric brain disorders. New York, NY: Springer.
Stevenson, D. K. (2009). Fetal and neonatal brain injury. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Stimola, A. (2012). Brain injuries. New York: Rosen Pub.