Neuropsychological Dysfunction Due to Liver Disease

  • Ralph E. Tarter
  • Kathleen L. Edwards
  • David H. Van Thiel
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)


Among all organs, the liver ranks first in both size and the variety of its functional accomplishments. Located between the intestine and systemic circulation, the liver is, in effect, both a filter and a metabolic factory. Through mechanisms regulated by the level of available energy substrate and the two hormones, insulin and glucagon, the liver is the organ that is responsible for determining whether ingested and absorbed nutrients in the form of chemical energy are to be either utilized immediately or to be stored for later use. The liver is also the primary site for the activation, storage, and release of several vitamins. It is additionally a major site of protein synthesis, glycogen synthesis and storage, and is the primary regulator of the plasma level of cholesterol and other fats. An additional important function performed by hepatocytes is the manufacture of bile, a unique biologic detergent containing, among many other components, bile salts and cholesterol. Thus the liver plays an integral role in maintaining the nutritional and metabolic well-being of the organism.


Liver Disease Hepatic Encephalopathy Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Hepatic Coma Portacaval Shunt 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph E. Tarter
    • 1
  • Kathleen L. Edwards
    • 1
  • David H. Van Thiel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of GastroenterologyUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA

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