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Dysexecutive Performance of Elderly Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection

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DOI: 10.4236/aar.2014.34037    2,464 Downloads   2,762 Views  

ABSTRACT

Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the most important causes of chronic liver disease, which can progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It is well established that advanced forms of the disease are accompanied by overt and global cognitive deficits (hepatic encephalopathy) but now there is a growing evidence that the alterations in cerebral function in patients with chronic HCV infection may appear long before the development of severe liver cirrhosis, it has been hypothesized that it is related to a direct effect of HCV on the brain; or the neurotoxic effect of HCV-related systemic inflammation. The purpose of the study was to assess the possible existence of executive dysfunction in chronic HCV infected patients. One hundred elderly patients aged 60 years and above agreed to participate in this study; 50 patients were HCV positive (cases) and 50 patients were HCV negative (controls). All participants were subjected to the following: diagnosis of HCV by detection of HCV antibodies using ELISA technique, non-invasive assessment of liver condition, and evaluation of executive functions using 5 neuropsychological tests. The study showed that there was a significant difference between cases and controls regarding 2 executive function tests related to the phonological loop component of working memory among HCV positive patients. The study concluded that chronic HCV infection is accompanied by dysexecutive performance.

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Abdel Rahman, T. , Abdel Guaad, M. and Mortagy, A. (2014) Dysexecutive Performance of Elderly Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection. Advances in Aging Research, 3, 285-292. doi: 10.4236/aar.2014.34037.

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