Neurological Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 7, pp 1151–1159 | Cite as

Advances in dialysis encephalopathy research: a review

  • Ying Chen
  • Xin Tian
  • Xuefeng Wang
Review Article


Dialysis encephalopathy (DE) is a progressive, fatal disease with a high mortality rate. Understanding the causes of this disease and the efforts to prevent and treat it would help improve the prognosis and quality of life of affected patients. This paper reviews the etiology, clinical features, methods of examining accessory features, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of DE. We found that DE is likely to be related to aluminum poisoning. The clinical manifestations of DE include language disorders, mental and behavioral disorders, cognitive decline, and movement disorders. Electroencephalogram (EEG) findings mainly consist of an abundance of low waves, intermittent bilateral synchronous high-amplitude spikes, and ridge waves. Assessing the clinical features and obtaining an EEG are of great value in diagnosis, and DE is treated by both reducing aluminum intake and increasing aluminum excretion. Deferoxamine (DFO) is an effective treatment for DE.


Dialysis encephalopathy Etiology Clinical features Examination Diagnosis Treatment 


Authors’ contributions

YC and XT conceived the article and wrote the manuscript. XT and XFW reviewed and edited the manuscript. YC and XT contributed equally and share first authorship. All authors read and approved the manuscript.


This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81471319, 81671301).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict interest.


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© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical UniversityChongqing Key Laboratory of NeurologyChongqingChina
  2. 2.Center of EpilepsyBeijing Institute for Brain DisordersBeijingChina

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