Neurological Complications of Hepatitis C Infection
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- McCarthy, M. & Ortega, M.R. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep (2012) 12: 642. doi:10.1007/s11910-012-0311-6
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Though well-known as a cause of liver disease, Hepatitis C virus infection is emerging as a cause of a variety of peripheral and central nervous system disorders. The virus causes chronic persistent infection with complex immune responses in the majority of individuals. Viral infection may have the potential to generate neurological illness through direct infection of neural cells or through immune-mediated mechanisms, including enhancement of autoimmune responses. Moreover, the mainstay of antiviral treatment of hepatitis C infection, interferon-alpha, is itself associated with neurological morbidity. Thus neurologists are increasingly faced with diagnosing or even predicting a wide spectrum of neurological complications of hepatitis C infection and/or its treatment.