Hepatic encephalopathy is a condition in which the brain fails to function as a result of the liver's inability to filter toxic substances from the blood, according to MedlinePlus. Typically, liver dysfunction occurs due to liver disorders such as cirrhosis and hepatitis, which damage the liver.
Hepatic encephalopathy is more common in patients with chronic liver disease, and it is either a temporary and reversible condition or a chronic condition that deteriorates with time, notes MedlinePlus. Its symptoms may be gradual or sudden and include mild confusion, poor concentration and sleep pattern changes. Hepatic encephalopathy may also result in severe symptoms such as disorientation, drowsiness, occasional seizures and unusual shaking in the hands.