What is a delirium?

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william1941 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Delirium refers to a sudden disturbance of mental function which is fluctuating and usually reversible. It is seen as an inability to pay attention or think clearly, disorientation and fluctuations in the level of alertness. Though delirium is not normal, it is not a disease.

It usually affects older people over 50% of people aged over 70 having delirium. Delirium could also be due to taking drugs, a result of a stroke or due to Parkinson’s or dementia. A majority of times delirium is due to minor causes and can be taken care of if the person is brought to a medical facility as soon as possible.

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andyluv | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

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Delirium (acute confusional state) is a common and severe neuropsychiatric syndrome with core features of acute onset and fluctuating course, attentional deficits and generalized severe disorganization of behavior. It typically involves other cognitive deficits, changes in arousal (hyperactive, hypoactive, or mixed), perceptual deficits, altered sleep-wake cycle, and psychotic features such as hallucinations and delusions. It is often caused by a disease process 'outside' the brain, such as common forms of infection (UTI, pneumonia) or by drug effects, particularly anticholinergic or other CNS depressants (benzodiazapenes and opioids). It can also be caused by virtually any primary disease of the central nervous system

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