Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Patients With Cirrhosis And Impaired Cognitive Abilities Have More Motor Vehicle Accidents

Date:
September 22, 2009
Source:
Wiley - Blackwell
Summary:
A recent study found that patients with cirrhosis of the liver who developed minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) had a 16% rate of motor vehicle crashes compared to only 4% of those without MHE over one year. The rate of accidents was also significantly higher than the state annual crash rate of 3%-3.3%.

A recent study by Jasmohan Bajaj, M.D., and colleagues from Virginia Commonwealth University and McGuire VA Medical Center found that patients with cirrhosis of the liver who developed minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) had a 16% rate of motor vehicle crashes compared to only 4% of those without MHE over one year. The rate of accidents was also significantly higher than the state annual crash rate of 3%-3.3%.

Results of the study are available in the October issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) is a prevalent neurocognitive complication associated with cirrhosis of the liver. Up to 80% of cirrhotic patients are diagnosed with MHE, which causes impaired attention, response inhibition, visuo-motor coordination and psychomotor speed. Patients with MHE may progress to overt hepatic encephalopathy (OHE), which in addition to impaired cognition function, causes a flapping tremor (asterixis), decreased consciousness including coma, swelling of the brain (cerebral edema), and death.

The study followed 167 cirrhotic patients from Wisconsin and Virginia who had a diagnosis of MHE. Median age of participants was 53 years, an age group considered to have the safest driving record, and patients had on average 36 (+11) years of driving experience. Standard psychometric testing (SPT) was administered to evaluate mental processing speed, attention, and visuo-spatial coordination. The inhibitory control test (ICT), a freely downloadable test of attention that uses a timed response to lures and targets, was also conducted to measure psychological performance.

Driving records (motor vehicle crashes and traffic violation) were obtained for all patients from the Department of Transportation in Wisconsin and Virginia for a one-year period prior to the study. Participants also completed a driving history that surveyed information on driving duration and driving offenses within 1 year of psychometric testing. At the one-year follow-up 109 patients remained; 58 patients were lost to follow-up, no longer driving, experienced disease progression, or death. In patients with MHE diagnosed by ICT, there was a 22% rate of future driving offenses, which was significantly higher than the 7% in those without MHE by ICT.

"Our study demonstrates a significantly higher rate of motor vehicle crashes in MHE patients defined by the ICT," confirmed Dr. Bajaj. The findings also found that ICT was a superior test to SPT in identifying those patients at risk of future auto accidents. Normal ICT performance was associated with crashes in 3% of cases, similar to the standard state rates. "A careful elicitation of the driving history and discussion with MHE patients and their families should be performed during clinical visits," suggested Dr. Bajaj.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley - Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jasmohan S Bajaj, Kia Saeian, Christine M Schubert, Muhammad Hafeezullah, Jose Franco, Rajiv R Varma, Douglas P Gibson, Raymond G Hoffmann, R Todd Stravitz, Douglas M Heuman, Richard K Sterling, Mitchell Shiffman, Allyne Topaz, Sherry Boyett, Debulon Bell, Arun J Sanyal. Minimal hepatic encephalopathy is associated with motor vehicle crashes: The reality beyond the driving test. Hepatology, 2009; NA DOI: 10.1002/hep.23128

Cite This Page:

Wiley - Blackwell. "Patients With Cirrhosis And Impaired Cognitive Abilities Have More Motor Vehicle Accidents." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090909095102.htm>.
Wiley - Blackwell. (2009, September 22). Patients With Cirrhosis And Impaired Cognitive Abilities Have More Motor Vehicle Accidents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090909095102.htm
Wiley - Blackwell. "Patients With Cirrhosis And Impaired Cognitive Abilities Have More Motor Vehicle Accidents." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090909095102.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins