The reference population comprised 14 healthy volunteers with a mean age of 51 ± 15 years. None of the volunteers drank alcohol in excess of 20 g/day or were taking prescription medication. Neuropsychiatric assessment was conducted in one morning session after breakfast. Brief rest breaks were offered between tests. Each patient’s mental status was assessed by an experienced physician (S. Montagnese, A. Biancardi, or P. Amodio) prior to the psychometric/neurophysiological
evaluation. The assessment included: (1) a detailed and comprehensive medical history wherein evidence was sought for changes in memory, concentration, attention, and vigilance and in the ability/modality of approaching the activities of daily living; (2) a comprehensive neurological examination, looking particularly for evidence of subtle motor abnormalities, including hypomimia, dysarthria, increased Deforolimus cell line tone, reduced speed, and difficulty in executing rapid alternating movements and tremors, especially asterixis; (3) exclusion of concomitant neurological disorders (e.g., subdural hematoma, Wernicke’s encephalopathy) or other metabolic Talazoparib supplier encephalopathies (e.g., those associated with glucose or electrolyte imbalance, thyroid dysfunction, renal failure, and intoxication with drugs or alcohol); and (4) a clinical grading of the neuropsychiatric
abnormalities according to the West Haven criteria.11 Patients were finally qualified as having or not having grade I overt HE and were excluded from the study if they had overt HE of grade II or higher. Psychometric performance was assessed, under standardized conditions, using number connection tests A and B, the digit symbol subtest of the Wechsler adult
intelligence scale, and the line tracing and serial dotting tests.12 Individual psychometric test results were scored in relation to age- and education-adjusted Italian norms.13 Psychometric performance was classified as impaired if the sum of the standard deviations for the individual tests, known as the psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score (PHES), was ≤ −4.13 EEGs were recorded for 10 minutes, with eyes closed, in a condition of relaxed wakefulness, using a 21-electrode EEG cap. Electrodes were placed according to the International Branched chain aminotransferase 10-20 system; the ground electrode was Fpz; the reference electrode was Oz; impedance was kept below 5 kΩ. Each channel had its own analogue-to-digital converter; the resolution was 0.19 μV/bit (Brainquick 3200, Micromed, Italy equipment). One continuous 80-100 second period of artifact-free EEG tracing was selected for subsequent spectral analysis by Fast Fourier Transform. The following spectral parameters were calculated on the P3-P4 derivation: the mean dominant frequency, which is an estimate of the background frequency of the EEG, and the relative power of the spectral bands delta (1-3.