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April2010 Vol.47 Issue:        2        Table of Contents
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Neuropsychological, Psychiatric and Laboratory Findings in Accidentally Discovered Hepatitis C Virus Patients

Nermin Aly Hamdy1, Salwa Mohamed Rabie1, Amal Mahmoud Kamal2, Enas Mahmoud Hasan1, Amal Kamal Helmy3, Summar Farouk Elshayb1, Maha Aly Hasan1


Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry1, Clinical Pathology2, Internal Medicine3, El-Minia University; Egypt



Background: The high prevalence of HCV infection has led to increasing interest in the many extra hepatic manifestations of this disease. There have been conflicting reports regarding the association between HCV infection and neuropsychiatric and cognitive abnormalities. Objective: We therefore considered whether HCV infection has an early effect on the central nervous system, resulting in neuropsychological and psychiatric abnormalities. Methods: This study included twenty-sex viremic patients with clinically and laboratory-proven mild hepatitis due to HCV who were diagnosed accidentally during blood donation or routine investigations and 50 age and sex matched control subjects. Study participants underwent a comprehensive Neuropsychological battery to assess functioning in the areas of spatial, naming, attention, memory, verbal fluency, orientation abstraction, and also completed depression, anxiety and Impact of illness questionnaires. Results: Patients showed significantly lower scores in cognitive tests especially in attention, naming, memory, fluency, abstraction and orientation (dominant hemisphere functions). They also had more depression and anxiety. However these findings were not significantly correlated with laboratory variables or viral load. Conclusions: We conclude that HCV may exert neuropsychological and psychiatric effects on patients even before the appearance of the full blown picture of the disease. (Egypt J Neurol Psychiat Neurosurg.  2010; 47(2): 281-288)


Key Words: HCV, mild hepatitis, neuropsychology, psychiatry.


Correspondence to Nermin Ali Hamdy. Department of Neurology, El-Minia University; Egypt. Tel.: +20124331003. Email:

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