HCV doesn’t just affect the liver. It can have profound affects of the brains of HCV+ people. In chronic HCV, brain function is often impaired, characterized by a syndrome combining mild confusion, forgetfulness, and difficulty concentrating or focusing, which many refer to as “Brain Fog”.
This can range from very mild forms which no one really notices except the HCV+ person experiencing the cognitive difficulty, all the way to a “gray area” between severe Brain Fog and mild Encephalopathy.
Encephalopathy, far more serious than Brain Fog, is characterized by dementia leading to coma.
If you have Brain Fog:
- Consult your liver specialist, hepatology nurse, and/or mental health professional for advice and support.
- Do what you can to de-stress your life – this will improve both your physical and mental health!
- Join a HCV+ peer support group.
- Exercise regularly, preferably with others.
- Take pleasure in simple things you enjoy and excel at; don’t be hard on yourself.
For an excellent overview of brain fog, check out this article by Lucinda K. Porter, RN: Hepatitis C: Brain Fog and Fatigue