Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Toxic-Metabolic Encephalopathy

  • Bruce J. DiamondEmail author
  • Joseph E. Mosley
  • Keith Happawana
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_580


Acute confusional state; Acute encephalopathy; Delirium


Metabolic encephalopathies are chemical disorders that adversely impact consciousness, cognition and alertness; they are primarily attributable to systemic infectious, toxic or metabolic derangements, but not structural lesions (Krishnan et al. 2014; McCandless 2009; Young and DeRubeis 1998). Toxic-metabolic encephalopathy (TME) characteristically involves delirium and an acute confusional state accompanied by global cerebral dysfunction in the absence of primary structural brain disease (Chen and Young 1996). TME is often underrecognized and undertreated and generally results from systemic disease (Milbrandt et al. 2004; Ely et al. 2004a, b; Teodorczuk et al. 2012). The clinical presentation of TME is frequently confused with dementia (Teodorczuk et al. 2012).

Current Knowledge


Examples of metabolic encephalopathies include Wernicke’s encephalopathy, Addison disease, hypoglycemia, hypothermia,...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce J. Diamond
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joseph E. Mosley
    • 1
  • Keith Happawana
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWilliam Paterson UniversityWayneUSA