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Delirium (acute confusional states)

Delirium (acute confusional states)

JAMA 258(13): 1789-1792

Delirium (acute confusional states), a common and often overlooked psychiatric disorder, can occur at any age, but elderly persons are especially prone to develop it. In later life, it is often a conspicuous feature of systemic or cerebral disease and drug (notably anticholinergic) toxicity, and it may constitute a grave prognostic sign. Its development in a hospitalized patient may interfere with his or her management, disrupt ward routine, and cause medicolegal complications as a result of patient injury. Acute onset of a fluctuating level of awareness, accompanied by sleep-wake cycle disruption, lethargy or agitation, and nocturnal worsening of symptoms, are diagnostic. Early recognition of delirium and treatment of its underlying cause are essential.

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Accession: 028054991

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 3625989

DOI: 10.1001/jama.1987.03400130103041

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