Dementia And Delirium
Delirium is a state of acute confusion that can resemble dementia. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition:
A diagnosis of delirium is made if:
The causes of delirium are numerous. In older persons, it is commonly caused by medication intoxication, infections (particularly of the chest and bladder), metabolic disturbances (for example, kidney failure and thyroid disease) and cardiovascular and brain disorders.
If delirium is suspected, you must consult a health-care provider immediately. It may be necessary to admit you to hospital to obtain a full history and examination. Blood tests, urine analysis, X-rays and a brain scan may also be performed to determine the cause, which will dictate treatment. For example, antibiotics may be given if an infection is confirmed or medications may be discontinued if medication intoxication is confirmed. Failure to seek medical help may result in death.