What Is Hep C’s Affect On The Brain?

December 12, 2011

It’s long been believed that chronic Hepatitis C infection results in cognitive and motor impairment. Fortunately, a recent study, the largest yet on the subject, found no signs of mental impairment due to the Hepatitis C virus.

There are generally two reasons for the believed correlation between cognitive decline and Hepatitis C. The first is the presence of viruses in the brain, and the second is the believed correlation between liver function and mental health.

Liver disease can affect the brain, but infection with Hepatitis C by itself will not impair cognitive function. That means that getting early treatment and taking care of the liver are imperative.

HIV is a common co-infection to Hepatitis C, and, according to this study and past research, HIV can impact both cognitive function and motor ability.

Of course, larger studies are forthcoming. This study focused on women, who are often under represented in medical research: getting pregnant could ruin a study. Most medications haven’t been tested on women, particularly pregnant women. In the past five or so years, more groups have pushed to include women in research, resulting in adjustments to recommended heart medications and other drug treatments.

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